Information for Prospective Students and Institutions

Blossom Community Wellbeing is a wellbeing service within Orchard Community Trust that provides placements for students studying Counselling, Social Work and Psychology at undergraduate or postgraduate level. We believe in the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to supporting others holistically and by working together we have the benefit of learning from our colleagues and working collaboratively in the best interest of children and their families.

Psychology

We facilitate placements for students looking to volunteer between their second and third year of their degree. This 9 month placement provides a wealth of opportunities to develop skills and knowledge related to working with children and their families. While the placements are based in an education setting, the opportunities to gain experience around wellbeing support are significant and these placements appeal to students wanting to enter into a range of Psychological disciplines.

Counselling

We provide placements for students who require counselling hours as part of their recognised qualification and wanting to work with children. We also provide opportunities for working with adults. Students are trained in line with BACP requirements before they commence any direct work and receive additional support, training and learning opportunities while on placement. Students receive support and oversight from a qualified practitioner however are required to source their own external supervision.

Social Work

Blossom Community Wellbeing provides placements for students who are completing a recognised social work qualification at Degree and Masters level. We currently host 70 day stage 5 students with view to welcoming 100 day stage 6 students in the future. We have an on-site Practice Educator and Work Based Supervisor and students receive a range of support as well as broad training opportunities while here with us.

A Student’s perspective, examples of the tasks we complete here on placement

Group Work – The Blossom Club

As students, we interact with the children on a daily basis to help boost their self-esteem in their personal lives and in their education. We facilitate groups to help children in need of additional support. This group is designed to model healthy peer relationships and provide quieter play spaces. Our role involves aiding pupils in adjusting well emotionally in school environments by modelling healthy relationships between their peers as well as adults. The Blossom Wellbeing Community values children’s wellbeing and focuses on the individual needs of children as well as the needs of the group as a whole. STudents are encouraged to support facilitation of these groups and contribute to content. This gives students experience in working directly with children as well as the opportunity to acquire skills associated with supporting wellbeing.

Direct One-to-One work

As well as group working, students also have the opportunity to complete 1:1 work with children where the focus is the wellbeing of a child. We work towards providing safe emotional environments where children can comfortably share their thoughts and feelings without judgement.

Social Work students have the opportunity to be involved in social care and safeguarding tasks including involvement with Local Authority led social care interventions, child’s planning (Early Help, Child in Need and Child Protection where appropriate and suitable).

There is additional opportunity for all students to have involvement with parents and carers as well as other agencies.

A day in the life – an example of a student’s day

This has been put together by a Psychology Student and provides an overview of some of the tasks Social Work and Psychology students may complete.

8:30 am
Start of the day

8:45 am
Welcoming families into school on the gate – This gives you a chance to build a relationship with the families that attend the school, increasing their ability to feel they can approach you and helping you to become familiar with the school.

9:00 am
Group work with other students – You may be asked to complete projects alongside your other work to benefit the children and families of the school. This could include setting up an afternoon for parents to inquire about services in the local area, conducting a research project, or setting up events to promote health and wellbeing to families.

9:45 am
Wellbeing Group – This is a group of children identified as requiring support. The wellbeing group requires planning, setting up, running, and recording. Topics covered could include road safety, dental hygiene, friendship qualities, confidence/self-esteem boosters, and many more.

10:30 am
Breaktime duty – This could include supporting children or an individual child outside, or supervising that interventions put in place are being used.

10:50 am
Safeguarding meeting – This could be an Early Help, Short Breaks Review, Child in Need, Child Protection, or Personal Education Plan meeting. You may be just observing or you may be required to take meeting notes. In some cases you may have tasks to follow up on or direct work opportunities linked to the plan(s).

12:00 pm
Lunch break

12:30pm
Lunchtime intervention – This could be supporting children or an individual child outside at lunch, or running a lunchtime club for children identified as requiring support.

13:00 pm
Direct work with individual children – This involves building and maintaining a relationship with the child where they feel comfortable. This differs with every child based on what they, and yourself, identify as what support is important.

14:45 pm
On the gate as families leave school – This demonstrates your presence at the school and increases both yours and the family’s familiarity with each other.

15:10 pm
Debrief with point of contact at school – This is a time where you can share anything that is worrying you or ask any questions you may have.

15:30 pm
End of the day

If you would like to know more about the placement opportunities available, please contact:

Lucy Patten
Placement Service Manager
Blossom Community Wellbeing
Orchard Community Trust
℅ Forest Park Primary School
Woodall Street, Cobridge
Stoke-On-Trent. ST1 5ED

Tel: 01782 234979
Email: lucy.patten@orchardct.org.uk
Online: orchardct.org.uk/blossom-community-wellbeing 

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