What it’s like being a student at Eden Valley Hospice
Amy Milburn graduated with a first-class BSc (Hons) Social Work degree from the University of Cumbria on 19 July 2023, also receiving the Excellence in Placement prize awarded by the university's respected Institute of Health.
Completing a 100-day placement at the Eden Valley Hospice in north Cumbria in 2023, Amy wrote about her experience as it came to an end which she and the charity kindly share below.
"So, what is it like being a student social worker at Eden Valley Hospice? Wow, where do I start.
The hospice is such an amazing place to work, every single member of staff has been extremely supportive. One of the things I absolutely love the most, is when you arrive in the morning, everybody says good morning and is so friendly and welcoming.
Another thing I have loved about having my placement in the hospice, is how approachable staff members are. There is no such thing as a silly question in Eden Valley Hospice, and everybody is willing to help you if you are unsure.
The multi-disciplinary working at Eden Valley Hospice has been fantastic. I feel that at the hospice, every member of staff is treated as equal, everybody belongs and everybody’s opinion matters. Eden Valley Hospice have been fantastic in supporting me and my health needs, always ensuring my health and safety.
Social Work England (2020) suggest, ‘that some organisations within the private, voluntary and independent sector (PVI) offer placements that deliver statutory work and that they provide valuable learning experiences for students.’ This has been the case for Eden Valley Hospice.
Throughout my time here, I have been able to undertake statutory tasks, such as a Mental Capacity Act (2005) assessment. As well as planning safe discharges, organising and taking part in family meetings, working closely with patients, and much more. I have also had the opportunity to work with outside agencies too, such as care agencies, adult social care, district nurses and many more. It has been a very busy but fantastic placement with lots of learning opportunities.
Whilst here, I became a member of the Association of Palliative Care Social Workers, through my own choosing. This has been amazing for my learning.
We regularly take part in lunchtime learning, which has increased my knowledge in palliative care social work vastly. Overall, I have grown in confidence in my abilities as a practitioner and I feel ready to embark on my next chapter as a fully qualified social worker.
I just wanted to end by saying a massive thank you, to all the staff, patients, and families at Eden Valley Hospice for all the opportunities, and I will take everything I have learned with me throughout my career."
Mental Capacity Act (2005). C.9. Available: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2005/9/contents [Accessed 08/06/2023]
Social Work England (2020) Guidance on practice placements. Available: https://www.socialworkengland.org.uk/standards/practice-placements-guidance/#about [Accessed 08/06/2023]
* Visit https://www.edenvalleyhospice.org/ to learn more about the Eden Valley Hospice, a charity dedicated to providing specialist care for adults in north Cumbria who have life limiting condition.