Social Work Society president and vice-president share their journey

Wed, 10 Jun 2020 16:19:00 BST
Jade (left) and Hayley took on the vice-president and president role of the Social Work Society
Jade (left) and Hayley took on the vice-president and president role of the Social Work Society

Two final year GCU students have been reflecting back on their journey with the Social Work Society and their hope for its development in the future.

From interesting introductions to numerous events, Hayley Brown and Jade Friel took on the role of president and vice-president and believe it is being left in safe hands with the newly selected committee.

Both explained the background to how they got involved and the importance of the society for students at GCU.

Jade said: “I was actually first approached by Hayley in the girl’s bathroom! She said she had heard me talking in class and thought I would be a really good fit for the society.

The group was already in place but a lot of those involved were in their final year and their focus was understandably on exams.”

Hayley explained her take on their somewhat unusual first meeting with each other. She said: “In my defence that was the first chance I had got to speak to Jade! She was one of the few who was vocal in class, so I knew she would be a great fit.

I only got involved after my lecturer Louise Mackellar put me forward when the original president was leaving. I didn’t really know anything about it, however I was really excited to take on something in addition to my coursework.”

Jade added: “The work of the society has been so important. International students joined and didn’t know anyone at the start but it really did feel like a family when we were all together.”

Hayley said: “It can be difficult to get to know classmates and create that bond during actual lectures. The society provides that space for students to feel comfortable here at GCU and also to get more education through other people’s experiences.”

Both were involved in putting on a number of events, including an appeal which saw the society collect 26 bags of clothes for homeless people across Glasgow.

Hayley explained her favourite event, she said: “The first one we did was the ‘Book and Bake-Sale’ and we got lots of lecturers and former students to donate useful resources for new students.

It actually led to us making more than £300, which is the most ever raised from a bake-sale at GCU!

We’ve also held movie and documentary screenings which again brought staff and students together. We watched a documentary about an immigration detention centre and had the director visit, who spoke about his experience - which was really insightful for the students.”

With Jade and Hayley’s time at GCU coming to an end, both are sure that the new committee will build on the work of the last few years.

Jade said: “It would be good to see a continued focus on first-year students and making them feel like part of the community here at GCU.

It has been left in amazing hands and the new group has care-experience in it - which is something that’s really important for us to offer."

Hayley added: “The new president and vice-president are two of my best friends and I have so much faith in them that they’ll do amazing.

There are already events planned and there will be a real focus on the educational side so that students can’t get the experience around what they want to specialise in.”

By Ross Clark
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