Since 2014, Unity has been working with university staff to deliver role-play workshops to the social work students at Stirling. We have learnt a lot along the way about the best ways to do this! Now a journal article has been published to share this learning more widely, thanks to staff member Sara Hitchin and the Unity members and students who have taken part so far. Sara writes:
The workshop provides an example of how service user involvement in social work education has evolved from a primary focus on sharing personal testimonies to active participation in student skill development. It underlines the importance of investment in service user involvement to achieve an appropriate context for such projects to develop.
The article includes the views of students and Unity members about the value of the workshops. For instance:
I really enjoyed it. I felt that the interview with the Unity member felt almost like I was in practice as it was their real problems which allowed me to feel empathy. (Student quote, 2015)
I enjoyed it greatly – it gives me a sense of actually being listened to. It put the things that happen in life to great use that benefitted – I hope – the students who will be able to help change things in other people’s lives for their good, so indirectly I have helped those people get their lives together. (Unity member)