The newest addition to the social work team is looking to further develop students’ knowledge and skills working with adults who have a learning disability.
Carla Gama – who originally qualified in her native Portugal – is the Faculty of Health and Society’s new Senior Lecturer in Social Work where she has already started tutoring students in the ‘Readiness for Practice’ module, helping them fine hone the core skills essential for any social worker.
Carla joins the University from Northamptonshire County Council where she worked in Adult Social Cara, specialising in working with service users who have a learning disability and/or autism, her two expert areas.
Prior to this, she worked in health and social care but across various ‘provider services’ organisations (those that provide, for instance, day services or supported living).
On her appointment, Carla said: “I did part of my postgrad training at the old Park Campus, but I’m all about change and trying new things, so I’m fitting right in at Waterside. I’m used to working in open plan locations where you can see and talk with colleagues from different areas, so I can see right away how the University is a ‘crucible’ of collaborative learning.
“It helps too that the social work team here have been amazingly supportive and the students I’ve met have really participated in learning and discussions. Although I’ve mentored and trained people before, this is my first actual lecturing post but the experience so far has been great.”
Outside of work Carla is quite the traveller and a purveyor of fine, Latin cuisine…in spite of her strong connections to her homeland: “I have dual nationality and speak fluent Portuguese and English, but my parents come from Madeira – yes, the same island as Ronaldo! – but I’ve seen a fair amount of the world.
“From volunteering in Ghana (a real eye-opener as we didn’t have access to running water. Showering and cooking was interesting!), Sri Lanka, Mexico, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Cyprus and, my home from home, Italy.
“I look cooking and have a strong partiality toward food and drink from home, but if I was to choose a country for its cuisine it would have to be Italy. The simplicity of Italian cooking only adds to its deliciousness!”
Find out more about studying Social Work (Ba hons) at the University of Northampton.