Sarah Penn is a third year part time Social Work student and course representative for her year.
As part of her role, Sarah has been able to collect feedback from her cohort and represent their views at her SSLC (Student Staff Liaison Committee) and relay information from this meeting back to them.
“I attended my first SSLC meeting in Cambridge and found the whole experience both informative and enjoyable. This meeting enabled me to contextualize the various relationships and practicalities that occur within University life at a deeper level. Not only was I made to feel welcome and valued, I was able to feedback the information I had been given by my cohort to all participants within the meeting and felt all views were listened to and taken on board.”
“I aim to encourage students to understand the value of their opinions and voices, individually and collectively and how these are heard by the University.”
Alongside this, Sarah has also set up a drop in service for her cohort to help build a sense of community on her course at the Peterborough campus.
“A fellow colleague/student/friend and I wished to promote a sense of community and inclusion within the social work course that spanned across all cohorts. We believe that each and every student has something to offer and could gain from others, be it study content ideas, discussion about which resources have been found helpful, someone to bounce ideas with or just general chats over lunch that promote a sense of being part of something bigger. University life can be daunting and isolating for some, and having others who are in a similar boat to talk to prompted my friend and I to start an informal weekly drop in session.”
Sarah is studying to become a Social Worker and her time volunteering as a course rep has enabled her to put in to practice and learn skills that will help her future career:
“I have never enjoyed public speaking or giving presentations, however, to develop professionally I needed to address this. Being a student rep takes me out of my comfort zone and although I usually still feel nervous, I am becoming more positive about these experiences and learn more with each activity.”
Sarah is proud of the difference she is able to make to others through her role and wears her Rep Hoodie with pride. Sarah summarises her experience of volunteering here:
“Volunteering can make a difference. Whether its knowing an opinion, suggestion or comment has been taken seriously, or seeing a lightbulb moment occur in a colleague, it makes volunteering more worthwhile.”
Thank for Sarah for going above and beyond in your role to help others and for championing the students on the Peterborough campus.
If you are a Peterborough Social Work student and would like to attend one of Sarah’s drop in sessions, please find her on Wednesday, term time, during lunch in the break out room.