My experience of being a student at the West End Centre
My name is Hassan; I am a second year student currently for a studying Youth and Community Development degree at Bradford College. My placement at the West End Centre has been an worthwhile experience . When I had arrived on my first day I was welcomed by members of staff and people from the community. I had only spent 5 minutes in the centre but had felt like I had been there for years.
Offering the first step to a whole new journey
I was really surprised at seeing a small community centre offering such a large variety of opportunities to people in the community. They do this in order to address issues of social exclusion and loneliness. They promote social inclusion, equality and diversity and life skill opportunities. The members of staff of the West End Centre have been very welcoming and approachable through the whole of my placement.
This has increased my experience of working collaboratively with other professionals and has been a valuable experience. I have challenged myself and addressed my weaknesses. Team support and the opportunity to put theory into practice has helped me develop skills in management, leadership, organisation and self-discipline.
The Community Matters
Using the experiences I have gained, I’ve started work on a team project which is based on tips and tricks for modern technology. This involves learning to use different types of technologies such as PCs, tablets, mobiles, I pads, Cameras and many more. This project is designed to support people to keep up date with technology in the 21st century. This is useful for people interested in learning about, or exploring new ways to fulfil their hobbies and interests. The team had specifically chosen to work on this project due to the needs and wants of the community. I have noticed that there are fewer opportunities for people due to lack of one-to-one support. I had wanted to change and improve this for people in the centre and the community. The team focuses on helping people to believe in themselves in order to motivate them and help them to achieve something new.
I enjoyed preparing a selection of activities to support people’s needs and ensure that they achieve the best outcome. I value and cherish the support given to me by the staff of the West End and the community. It made me realise that we are not treated just like people but like a big family. The West End Staff have supported me enabling me to challenge barriers, building up my confidence, self-esteem and motivation. As part of my experience I have undertaken a variety of tasks which has enabled me gain new life skills like cooking, cleaning, washing up, inputting data and taking on a role to be a leader. I now feel much stronger and have enough belief in myself to undertake challenges and give things my best shot. I have enjoyed every moment working with people from different religions, backgrounds, with different needs and disabilities. This has made me realise the importance of equality and diversity and how its promoted within the centre. I believe the staff and the members of the centre strive to ensure everyone is been respected and valued regardless of their individual differences promoting social inclusion and a multi-cultural culture within the centre.
Every Step matters...yours does too!
I would like to thank Fran, Christine, Dan, Ratty and all the volunteers who have helped to build ever lasting memories which I will never forget. As a practitioner I believe every day is a different day, full of new challenges and experiences…waiting to be explored!