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Health & Social Care Students on the Front Line

At Cardinal Newman, our students work ethic and approach to learning never fails to impress us. During this pandemic, our Health & Social Care students have not only remained committed to their studies, but many have also been working as key workers, putting what they have learned through their Health & Social Care studies into practice on the front line.

Support Workers

Students like Olivia Thompson, who is studying the Health & Social Care Extended Diploma, who started a job as a Support Worker in a care home when the pandemic broke out.  The most important task according to Olivia is “making sure that the residents always stay happy and busy due to not being able to see their family and friends who would usually visit. This is a partially hard time for the residents, and it is my role to encourage and support them to keep busy and happy!”

Olivia plans to train as an Adult Nurse once she has completed her studies at Newman and she feels that the work she has been doing during the pandemic has brought her closer to that dream, providing her with practical hands on experience. She says: “I am now certain that I want to become an Adult Nurse, this is something I may have wobbled over before the pandemic, however now I couldn’t be more excited about my future as a Nurse.”

John Buckingham & Lydia Holden both also decided to begin working as Care Assistants at a specialised dementia care home when COVID-19 broke out and are responsible for helping to make the residents feel safe and secure. They said: “It feels amazing to be a care worker, we love our job and the residents that we work with are what make the job so enjoyable. It is so rewarding to feel that your work us directly benefiting other people”

Other students were already working in the Care Sector before the pandemic broke out. Hannah Rooney, Aaliyah Nwagbolou and Freya Smith already had jobs working within rest homes. Hannah said: “It feels amazing to be acknowledged and thanked with people showing their support for the work that we do. Especially as previously care workers were known as unskilled workers and often didn’t get the recognition they deserved.”

Sales Assistants

But it is not just care homes that our students have found work in that has been directly helping during this situation. Marcy Campbell, Cora Smith and Sadie Smith all work as Sales Assistants and have continued working throughout the pandemic. All three of them say they are proud to have been able to “do their part” doing something productive and helping during this time. Marcy also said: “I have noticed a difference in the way that the customers treat staff, they are more appreciative of what we are doing. I am proud to be able to help and to support people who are struggling.”

Support Worker for Disabled Children

Maria Bayley is also a care worker, but she helps to look after disabled children. Her role involves going to the children’s home and providing care and support and some respite for the family. She says: “My role can be very varied, and the activities I do depend on what the parents or child needs help with. It can range from bathing, feeding, playing with or getting them ready for bed. This job has helped me to gain experience for my future career as I want to be a mental health nurse.”

Volunteers

Some of our other Health & Social Care students had been working in voluntary roles for quite some time when lockdown began. Alicia Bell volunteers as a Brownie Leader in her spare time, which has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Brownie groups have not been able to meet during the last few months, that hasn’t stopped all of the volunteers like Alicia working hard to support the children and families whilst they have been stuck at home. This has involved helping to set tasks and activities online as well as hand delivering packages to families. Alicia said: “I feel proud that I have assisted in the continuation of Brownies as I am giving the children some activities to keep them occupied and entertained during this time.” In the future Alicia would like to work with children, so she feels that the work she has done with the Brownies has really helped her with this goal as it has provided the opportunity to see how children aged 7-11 learn in different ways.

Lucy Guy had been volunteering at Ashleigh Nursery School for three years when COVID-19 broke out and she has seen a dramatic change in the way that the nursery is run and her role too. Now, her roles at the Nursery involve preparing the classrooms for the children coming in by deep cleaning the classrooms and furniture, sanitising and disinfecting every toy and piece of equipment, creating and hanging new signs displaying reminders from the government guidelines for children, their parents and staff. Lucy plans to go to university after College to train to become a midwife, and feels that her time spent volunteering at the nursery has really helped her to gain practical working experience that will stand her in good stead for her future career.

We couldn’t be more proud of these Health and Social Care students. Not only have they remained committed to their studies throughout the pandemic, but they have been working so hard as key workers and doing an amazing job!

Olivia Thompson - Health and Social Care BTEC

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Cardinal Newman College,
Lark Hill Road, Preston, Lancashire. PR1 4HD