My name is Claire and I am a student Social Worker, currently studying towards a Bsc degree at University of the West (UWE).

I am on placement here at Babbasa and will be joining the Support Team. I am really excited to have this opportunity and look forward to meeting some of the amazing young people who live in Bristol.

The most recent challenge I have faced is continuing to study during the lockdown restrictions. Like many people across the world it has been difficult to adjust to life moving online. I learn best when I can talk to people and share ideas. The pandemic has meant we have moved to online learning, therefore we have not been on campus since February 2020. A life in isolation presented unexpected barriers, although support was still available it was limited and not in my preferred style. I have Dyslexia and Dyspraxia which was not identified until last year. My experience of the education system growing up had left me with the belief I was not good enough and lacking confidence in my ability to learn. I left school with no qualifications and felt like a failure.

The situation now was beginning to feel the same. I began to withdraw from study and even contemplated giving up. However a fellow student contacted me and we shared some of our current challenges we were facing. I realised I was not alone, we began to support each other initially by phone, then online and once permitted through a bubble. The support of just one person who believed in me has enabled me to become more confident and has prevented me from giving up on my lifelong aspirations to become a social worker.

I now try not to compare myself to others, I am on my own journey and I know I bring something which can’t be measured by high grades. I continue to work hard to improve myself and be the best person I can be. As long as I never give up on my dream I know I will get there.

I have only just started placement here at Babbasa, but already I feel the values shine through. It feels like a safe place to continue my learning and I hope I can help others to become more confident in their abilities to achieve their aspirations.

I am determined to complete the course and qualify as a Social Worker next year. If I could give three pieces of advice to a young person it would be something like this;

  1. Never give up on your dream, in times when it seems impossible remember why you want it and what it would feel like achieving it.
  2. If someone says you are not good enough, show them they are wrong.
  3. Accept help and access the support you need along the way.