Amber Jolley writes: “I’m here three days a week at Ellern Mede as a Student Social Worker; my second student placement. I started here mid-October 2018 and will finish towards the end of June 2019. My first few months here have been interesting and very much an eye opener into the reality of what an eating disorder really is.”

“I had an in depth induction. Nevertheless, at first, I wondered if I’d know how to have a positive impact here. However, the team were quick to introduce themselves and offer me any support that I may need. During my first week, a Health Care Assistant introduced me to a patient and we played a game together, it was nice getting to know them in this way. This was more helpful than I realised because it was a step closer to building my confidence in working with the patients.

“I have shadowed several meetings and general engagement between staff and patients. It’s clear to see the passion felt by every professional that is working here and their determination to work effectively with the patients and their families.

“I am still in the process of learning, but I am keen to take on patients and work with them to apply what I have learnt academically and at Ellern Mede so far, and hopefully make a difference. Already I am implementing law and theory that have been discussed in lectures. This has been incredibly helpful, and the staff are continuing to promote such learning when I am on the wards. Already, my confidence has improved significantly.

“The environment is still very new to me and so my main aim for the time being is building my confidence to ensure I can fulfil my role here to the best of my ability. I was reluctant at the beginning in taking on new tasks for the fear of making mistakes. However, I have recognised this is a learning opportunity that I feel very lucky to have. My favourite thing about my placement at Ellern Mede is having the chance to work with young people and see them often. My biggest concern taking up Social Work was that I would only get to see clients once or twice on a home visit and not be given the opportunity to spend time getting to know them, but that is not something I need to worry about here, because I have the time to build relationships with each patient I am working with.

As I go into 2019, I’m very positive about both my chosen career, my studies and very grateful for this work experience placement. Best wishes to all my colleagues and to patients and families currently spending time here at Ellern Mede.