Category: Student Voice

Inspired to become an OT

Posted on: 5 December 2017 | Category: Student Voice

In 2013 a 6 year battle came to a head and I was very ill with anorexia. I suspended my degree course. Over the next year an occupational therapist would save my life.


    Blog

    Inspired to become an OT

    Posted on: 5 December 2017 | Category: Student Voice

    In 2013 a 6 year battle came to a head and I was very ill with anorexia. I suspended my degree course. Over the next year an occupational therapist would save my life.


Occupational Therapy students across all 3 years of the degree programme: 201718 academic year


Posted on: 20 March 2018 in Occupational Therapy Blog


Occupational Therapy students acrss all 3 years of the degree programme 201718

This is a photograph taken of students in all three years of the BSc degree programme during our current academic year 201718.

It can be a challenge to get students from all 3 years to meet up together with a complicated timetable and student placements taking place at different times across the 3 year programme. This great taken on a  day when we managed to do just that. 


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Student extra curricular creative occupations


Posted on: 3 May 2018 in Occupational Therapy Blog


Art Work

Seren Radley, Third Year Occupational Therapy Student Exhibits Photography work at Nasty Woman Exhibition, Liverpool. www.serenwenphotography.tumblr.com

Prior to beginning the Occupational Therapy Degree at the University of Liverpol I had completed a Photography Degree in Manchester. I'm a passionate artist and love to create conceptual art and so carried on creating arty work when moving to Liverpool. I submitted my piece 'Flux' to be considered for the exhibition and it was accepted! I created the piece by freezing flowers into ice and photographing the results: this photograph belongs to a wider series which you can see on www.serenwenphotography.tumblr.com

Flux depicts the tension between natural materials and the artist's ability to impose on such. What began as gentle disturbances to the natural form has developed into larger scale ice sculptural forms and installations that demonstrate the dilaect between man-made and natural objects - the organic and the artificial. 


My photograph was displayed in the Nasty Woman exhibition on the 9th March 2018. Nast Woman is a global art movement that serves to demonstrate solidarity among artists who identify with being a Nasty Woman in the face of threats to roll back women's rights. From sales of the art work and fundraising on the opening night Nast Woman raised £1850 to be donated to Wirral Women and Children's Aid. 

In my future practice as an occupational therapist I hope to continue producing artwork and combine my skills as an artist to improve outcomes for the service users I work with. 


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First time at RCOT conference


Posted on: 6 September 2018 in Occupational Therapy Blog


RCOT Conference (Image One)

Jennifer Corrigan graduated this Summer from the Occupational Therapy Degree course. Congratulations to Jennifer. She was awarded a First Class Degree. Jennifer has written a post about her experience at this year's annual conference took place in Belfast. This was Jennifer;s first time at the conference and hopefully her reflections may encourage other occupational therapy students to consider attending.

In this short post I will share my experience of attending at the annual Royal College of Occupational Therapy Conference 2018 as a final year student OT.  The conference was held in The Waterfront, Belfast and I was lucky enough to secure a funded ticket to the event through the University of Liverpool OT department.  I had a particular interest in attending this year due to the specialist sections on ‘children, young people and families’ and ‘people with learning disabilities’ as these are of relevance to my elective placement which I am currently completing in a paediatric setting for Children age 0-5 with complex disabilities.  

There were a large number of events and seminars across the 3 day event, so in the run up I researched the conference programme and decided on what to attend.  This proved to be worthwhile and the highlights for me were the interactive seminars which I found to be very relevant and informative. 

Apart from the seminars there was an exhibition hall, exhibition workshops, poster presentations, occupation workshops and much more.  It was a very friendly environment with so many opportunities to interact with other delegates and speakers.  The atmosphere was relaxed and it was exciting and refreshing as a student to hear and see all the amazing work being carried out by OT’s in the UK and Ireland.  I definitely found the whole experience inspiring and the prospect that I will soon graduate into this profession has made all the hard study and tough assessment periods in the University of Liverpool worthwhile.  As well as being inspired by the work of the OT’s presenting at the conference it was also a great networking opportunity for speaking to fellow students, OTs and potential employers. 

If you are considering attending the RCOT annual conference in the future I would advise that you plan your day and what exactly you want to attend at the conference prior to your visit.  This will ensure your experience at the event is tailored to your specific interests and of most value to you. 

I hope this post has provided you with an insight into the RCOT annual conference and has made you consider attending in the future. 

 Jenny Corrigan

University of Liverpool

Final Year OT Student 2018


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Volunteering for a Homeless Charity in Liverpool: an occupational therapy student's experience


Posted on: 8 November 2018 in Occupational Therapy Blog


At the start of the Twenty First Century, in one of the world’s richest economies, no
one should have to Sleep Rough. This is the opening sentence in 'The Routes out of Rough Sleeping Task Group Report' that reported in 2017 on Liverpool's homeless population. (Report Available at: https://www.feantsa.org/download/routes-out-of-rough-sleeping-report9176427149074445136.pdf Accessed: 8 November 2018)

This is the first of two Blog Posts based on a final year student occupational therapist's experience volunteering for a new project for homeless people called The Cotton Street Project. Thank you Elish Madden.

Part One of Elish's story:

I had always wanted to volunteer with the homeless in one way or another. I remember my first week when I came to Liverpool in first year, and seeing the amount of homeless there were on the streets. My eyes were well and truly opened. They say you should never give a homeless person money, but to always buy them a hot drink or a sandwich instead. But one evening after I left the cinema I can remember walking home through the streets of Liverpool and we came across a homeless man on the side of the street begging for money. I felt terrible, as most people do when they see the homeless on the street on a dark and rainy night. So I reached into my pocket for my purse. All I had was a tenner. No change. But I couldn’t give him nothing. There I was, just leaving the cinema after a good night of munching on popcorn and watching a film with my friend and then going home to my own warm bed and this man would lye here all night in the rain with nothing but a damp sleeping bag. I reached into my purse and gave him the tenner. His eyes showed me that he genuinely couldn’t believe it. Likewise, my friend gave all she could, a fiver. We continued to walk on home, however, this man, after realising what we had given him, got up and began to come after us. He said to us that we didn’t realise what we had done for him, that we had given him a bed for the night in a hostel nearby. A place where he could wash himself and his clothes.

Hearing my Irish accent, he then went on to ask where I was from, stating that his family was originally from Galway. After chatting for a little while we said our goodbyes and he thanked us again and again before going back to pick up his things to make his way to the hostel. This warmed my heart so much but being a student, we can’t afford to give all our money to the homeless, nobody can! Which is why, since then I knew I wanted to volunteer with the homeless in some way. This is where the Cotton Street Project comes in.


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Part Two: Student experience volunteering for a homelessness charity in Liverpool


Posted on: 15 November 2018 in Occupational Therapy Blog


So I heard about the Cotton Street Project for homeless people in Liverpool through Facebook. I mentioned the project to my friend Nicole who instantly wanted to come along and help. Here is the story of how the Cotton Street Project came about.

Laurence Kenright, founder of the project,  has a passion for developing old buildings and giving them a new life and identity. Thus explaining his collection of aparthotels across Liverpool. Laurence bought Kingsway House in 2017 and soon came face to face with the homeless crisis on a new and personal level. People had been using the building for shelter and warmth and the reality of the issue really hit home with Laurence. He couldn’t turn them away. With freezing temperature and countless people in doorways, Laurence Kenwright decided to make a change and open Kingsway house to anyone who needed help. The community came together and it became a true family, volunteers and homeless combined. However sadly, when the harshest moths of winter were over, the shelter was forced to close after facing pressure from the council.

This winter, Laurence and co. have embarked on a similar journey to help the homeless. Having learned a lot about what it takes to run a homeless shelter. This year the project will be undertaken in a converted warehouse on Cotton Street near the Liverpool docks. Nicole and I attended a contributors evening which outlined the projects goals and issues that needed tackling. We got to mingle with others who were passionate about this project and helping in any way they can which was so inspiring! The Cotton Street project is a community organisation, however, to get it off its feet right now it is being heavily funded by Laurence and Signature Living. Any donations of money or goods such as appropriate clothing, toiletries, foods with a long shelf life such as pasta, cereals and porridge, canned soups etc and cleaning products would be greatly appreciated!

This project would not be made possible without the amazing people I’ve come to meet in the past couple of weeks and I am so inspired by everyone’s stories. They are by no means naive to the challenges that come with helping the homeless, and so Cotton Street will be the first facility in the UK to offer full wrap around support. They offer support for deeper rooted problems such as drug and alcohol addiction, there will be medical professionals on call and drug and alcohol councillors will also be on site. However many of the problems and worries of an individual who has been homeless can be solved by a simple chat now and again, and having people they can trust and feel comfortable with again, as many of those I have spoken to comment that they could go for days on the streets without talking to anyone! Can you imagine how socially rejecting that can be. To have no one say hello, or ask if your ok?

Therefore a massive part of the Cotton Street Project focuses on social interaction. I could put an OT spin on this and say the reason I wanted to volunteer was because I know the impact the environment can have on our wellbeing, and that is true! But to be completely honest I just want to help. When you think of it, many of us are just one pay check away from being homeless ourselves. How lucky am I that out of the millions of families that I could have been born into, I was born into a loving and supportive one that cared for me and helped me to grow with confidence and with everything I needed along the way. Listening to the stories of these men and women I couldn’t help but feel so grateful. These were stories of neglect, abuse and worse. Things beyond their control which lead them down the wrong road and into a spiral of bad decisions just to get by, but with the support of the team at the Cotton Street Project, these individuals will be given a second chance at a life worth living.

Kingsway house enabled 150 homeless to get off the streets during the coldest winter months, 50 of these rough sleepers have now been permanently rehomed and 12 have found employment. Together we can make an even bigger difference this winter and maybe even in the future, end homelessness in Liverpool for good.

For more information message cottonstreet@signatureliving.co.uk

Or visit https://thecottonstreetproject.co.uk/ / https://www.facebook.com/cottonstreetproject/

#StrongerTogether


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