“See the best in people”
OT Student work placement at SASH
Bryony is an Occupational Therapy (OT) student from York St John University in the second and final year of her Masters studies. Along with another OT student, she completed a nine week work placement with the SASH team in Scarborough. Bryony explained the purpose of her placement, and what the two students gained from it:
“My role as an OT is to help people get to where they need to be, whether that is physically or emotionally or to do with their mental health. In terms of SASH, it means helping our young people to be independent, to get to know themselves and see what their goals might be.
Forcing a stereotype on people isn’t helpful
I had very few preconceptions of what the young people at SASH would be like. It’s my first experience of working with young people who have come from the care system or who have been made homeless. I did my best not to have any preconceived ideas because forcing a stereotype on people isn’t helpful.
We run a ‘pamper’ group, a creativity group and a cooking group. Some days we get total lack of engagement and are told quite firmly to go away, and others it’s like magic, and everybody gets along, everybody fits into place – sometimes into places that you’d never expect, so a quiet person in the group who’s always held back comes forward as the leader and really shines. That’s amazing, it’s a real privilege to see.
The Scarborough team is moving to new premises so to really get the young people involved, we decided to have them create some artwork for each of the rooms. We looked at the idea of if they had to come into to service again, if it was their very first day all over again, what artwork would they want to see? They came up with the ideas. We planned it on paper, then they painted onto canvas.
My approach is definitely ‘see the best in people’ – the more you look for the best in people the more often you will find it.
The young people astonish me, they sometimes frustrate me. I have gained so much insight and so much experience, I have learned such a lot from our young people and working in a client-centred way to fit their needs.
It’s reaffirmed that having a stereotype in your head is unhelpful for the person you are trying to help. My approach is definitely ‘see the best in people’ – the more you look for the best in people the more often you will find it.
We have so many characters, so many funny moments, so many surprising moments. Even when people are upset or afraid or angry, there’s still an opportunity to make that moment better for them, to help them recognise that this isn’t forever. I will miss them very much, they’ve definitely made an impact.”
Our thanks to Bryony and Evie for all their hard work with our young people.