What I got from my placement at CatchingLives
My name is Nancy Calver and I am a second year student on the BA Primary Education course at Canterbury Christchurch University. As part of my course I recently undertook a 3 week alternative social placement at CatchingLives’ Canterbury Open Centre. My 3 week placement offered me an invaluable opportunity to experience what is available to the vulnerable homeless people of the Canterbury area. I was greatly impressed with the facilities available of a hot shower, clean clothes, good food and warm refuge each day and understood that the ethos of the centre mainly revolves around empowering clients to change their own lives.
I endeavoured to integrate with clients and offer friendly conversation, was involved in staff/client discussions of individual’s progress and feelings offering support with problems. I helped complete an application for a job with a client and was rewarded later in the placement with learning that he had been successful for interview. I was also part of an interview process for a new member of staff which was a new and helpful experience
I feel privileged to have temporarily been a part of the dynamic supportive team at the centre and although I found the emotion surrounding this work challenging and upsetting at times. Though moving, I found the experience highly rewarding, especially as many of the clients need support with mental health issues and drug and alcohol use. The work is both hugely varied and very tough at times.
I am sad that my placement at Catching Lives has ended and thank the staff enormously for their warm welcome and inclusion into their happy team.