A GCU student is helping to deliver an online graduation to Social Work students who have missed out on capping off their time at University.

Thu, 20 May 2021 17:19:00 BST
David Grimm with Social Work Student Connect logo
David Grimm with Social Work Student Connect logo

Second year student David Grimm is involved in the Social Work Student Connect group, who are hosting an event this summer which aims to bring together individuals from all over the world and recognise their achievements during the pandemic.

With graduations unable to take place due to restrictions, David explained the origins of the group and the inspiration behind the event. He said: “Siobhan Maclean is the person who really deserves credit for starting this up. She’s an independent social worker and has been for a long time.

During the first lockdown, she teamed up with a bunch of students to create the Social Work Student Connect webinars. The concept of the webinars was to basically give social work students a place where they could continue their education, while everything with the pandemic was going on. The idea behind this was to show the theory of social work and how things work in practice, since students were missing out on placement.

It was really beneficial because we were looking at things that we wouldn’t normally focus on in class. They’re designed and aimed at students and also newly qualified social workers.”

David added: “We were obviously aware that Universities across the country haven’t had a graduation last year and won’t have one this year. This is something that is a huge part of the University experience and this latest event is a chance for them to celebrate with friends and family.”

‘Virtual Graduation 2020/2021 with Social Work Student Connect’ will take place via Zoom on Wednesday 23 June from 7pm – 9pm. It’s open to all recent graduates, as well as any other social workers interested in recognising the future of the profession.

David gave an insight into what can be expected on the night. He explained: “The whole idea is to make sure that social workers celebrate each other.

In the run-up to the event, we’ll be asking lecturers and practice educators to nominate students for the: ‘Be The Difference Award’, which is basically for those who have went above and beyond.

This is in tribute to our dear friend, Paul Yusuf, who we sadly lost to coronavirus. He was really passionate about art and poetry and did a lot of work with kids in care to try and give them a better life. He always encouraged others to ““be the difference”” in someone’s life.”

David added: “One of the people in the organising group grew up in America and is really keen on the idea of doing a year book. We’re going to have it as an e-version and students can have their picture and a blurb about themselves included as well.”

The team behind the event are keen to encourage as many people as possible to get involved in the night and David would love to see those who have recently qualified from outwith the UK also taking part.

He said: “It’s important to say that this is open to all Universities across the world. Basically, we’re putting a call out on Twitter to try and encourage all social workers to get involved, no matter where they’re from.

We’ve had students from Australia, Canada and Pakistan previously attend our webinar sessions, so it would be great to see representation from around the globe on the night.”
David added: “I am unbelievably excited. I’ll be busy during it helping the team but just to see people’s faces will be amazing!

It’s really nice to think we’re bringing everyone together and being able to help people celebrate their achievements is something that means a lot to me and the team.”

Interested in getting involved? Sign up to the event today.

By Ross Clark  
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