Students from the University of Northampton have signed up and begun volunteering to support patients, as part of St Andrew’s Student Volunteering Programme. Twenty-three students studying across a number of Health and Social Care programmes have signed up for the volunteering scheme, which will see them making a difference and enhancing the lives of the service users at St Andrew’s.
The students have signed up for a 13-week/100-hour programme, each spending approximately eight hours a week at St Andrew’s in Northampton in a variety of areas. The programme is based around the students’ term times, and aims to give them valuable experience, development and the opportunity to learn more about mental health. In addition, the project aims to break down some of the stigmas associated with mental health, and give the students an insight into social care and community enterprise.
Dawn Wright, Voluntary Services Manager at St Andrew’s explained: “We have worked in partnership with the University of Northampton to create the scheme, with students mainly coming from degree programmes within the Faculty of Health, Education and Society, including Child and Social Healthcare, Occupational Therapy and Social Work. We are pleased with the response and it is very exciting to have them on board.”
Jude Ridgley-Smith, Senior Lecturer in Health & Social Care at the University of Northampton said: “It’s vital students grasp an understanding of the way the various health and social care disciplines can work collaboratively to provide person centred care. This programme with St Andrew’s brings a multidisciplinary experience to their studies, and supports them to understand working with patients with mental health conditions.”