Support Worker

SLVeteran Lauren

Education: MSc Foundations of Clinical Psychology - University of Southampton, UK

SLV.Global Placement: Mental Health Placement August 2014

Current Role: Support worker for people with Autism

Voluntary work: 'I currently volunteer for CLEAR - City Life Education for Asylum Seekers and Refugees as an assistant in an English class. '

Tell us about your SLV.Global experience: 'I believe the SLV experience helped me get my volunteering role with CLEAR. I am only now, as I near the end of my MSc, applying for jobs so time will tell how much it helps. It has certainly bulked out my CV and given me a unique experience to talk about.'

'It was challenging trying to think of innovative and engaging ideas for interesting activities to run with a huge language barrier. Bus travel involved getting up close and personal with strangers while craving nothing more than a bucket of ice to dunk my head in. I saw people being treated in ways that made me feel uncomfortable, and I questioned my Western-centric concept of morality and ethics. In short, it was an invigorating experience. I learned about myself, about the human condition, and for a moment, superficially lived within another culture, another way of living, and another way of viewing the world. Embrace every chaotic moment. '

Tell us what you gained from your placement: 'Much of the material from the workshops has stuck with me and provided me with new areas of interest to explore (such as drama therapy and the meaning of trauma recovery). Gaining experience within a mental health setting (difficult to get in the UK....without experience!). A basic understanding of an Asian culture is useful when pursuing a career in psychology or mental health, as you are likely to work (therpeutically or otherwise) with Ethnic Minorities.Communication skills - the experience affirmed previous experiences that a lot can be said without words. Life-long friends and travel buddies.A connection with a reputable organisation which does fantastic work.'