Insight: Kayleigh on her student placement in the Resource Centre

Kayleigh is currently studying a BA (Hons) social work degree at Plymouth University. As part of the degree she needs to complete a certain amount of placement days. For her second-year placement she was given the opportunity to work at St Petrocs who have offered placements now, for many years. Kayleigh’s initial thoughts about working at St Petrocs were of trepidation, however after successfully completing the placement, which is coming to an end this week, Kayleigh spoke to us about her time working in the Resource Centre and how her views had changed during that time.

“My initial thought when I found out I was going to be working for a homeless organisation was dread! I was so nervous to start working in the homeless sector as it is different to anything I have done before and not something I pictured myself doing at all. My opinions could not be more wrong, and I have been so fortunate to have been placed in such a great setting with staff who would go above and beyond for their service users.

“I have been really fortunate to witness the positive impact St Petrocs has on rough sleepers all around the County and particularly find it outstanding how they have continued to provide support during the current pandemic. As a student I have found many benefits whilst working for the organisation which has had a huge influence on my practice learning. I have been given plenty of opportunities to work alongside the service users and always feel a sense of achievement at the end of the day. I believe the work St Petrocs complete make a substantial difference and this is clear from how many service users they have been able to support into accommodation over the past year. This placement has allowed me to boost my self-esteem as well as work with a team that do so much for our community.

“My personal values and judgements have been transformed for the better and I am extremely grateful for my time at St Petrocs. I will be truly gutted when my time here comes to an end as I know it will be difficult to find a placement as great as this one in the future. I thank each and every member of staff at St Petrocs for providing me with the skills and allowing me to gain so much knowledge on the homeless sector. This placement has certainly increased my interest and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.”

Amanda Wright, St Petrocs Associate Director of non-Residential Services said “Student placements at St Petrocs are incredibly valuable, Students bring with them a fresh pair of eyes and new ideas and very often work on some really complex cases with us. Kayleigh’s input and resilience at this difficult time, has been truly impressive. We hope that this opportunity, with its practical experiences of working with our clients has complimented her learning and she goes on to do some great work in the future.”