As part of this months look into Circle’s inspirational, but sometimes over-looked, work with Social Work students we were lucky enough to meet the staff, as well as some current students on placement, that make this project so successful. Read on for the third of three interviews with social work students on placement at Circle: 

Hi Mirren, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Hi, I’m Mirren Lynn, a 22yr old Social Work student doing my 95 day placement as part of a BSc Hons Social Work degree. 

Before we start the serious questions I wonder if you could answer a little ice-breaker for us, if you could be any animal, what would you be, and why?

A bird, maybe a pigeon, so I could spend all day chilling in Glasgow

Not sure I have ever heard someone say Pigeon but I love your explanation of why! And what are you particularly passionate about?

I’m very passionate about politics, specifically Scottish politics, and social policy. 

Now that our supporters know you a little better I wonder if you could tell us what inspired you to study for a qualification in Social Work?

The political climate in Scotland, as well as growing up in a deprived area and seeing the effects of poverty around me. 

How long were you, or have you been, on placement at Circle?

I have been on placement for 70 of the 95 days

What was the biggest difference between studying and practicing Social Work and did you learn or experience anything at Circle that you weren’t expecting?

Being able to work directly with people is very different to being in a lecture theatre. I feel that although university provides you with vital knowledge, it is important to obtain the practical knowledge of going out to visit people and working face to face with them. I think that I wasn’t expecting my confidence to grow as much as it has. Circle has eased me into home visits and spending time on my own with service users and thus helped build my confidence.

For anyone reading this that is considering studying for a qualification in Social Work what would your top three tips be?

1. Make sure it’s definitely what you want to do, don’t waste your funding 

2. Have a knowledge of relevant law and policy such as GIRFEC, the named person, UNCRC and know your Scottish laws from your English / UK 

3. Keep up to date with relevant news in social work / care e.g. the review of the care system in Scotland being in the news recently

And finally, with the experience you have so far, what one change would you make to the world around us that would make the biggest positive difference to the families you support, and why?

The benefits system. People fall through the net too often, the criteria is too strict, the sanctions are unhelpful and delays in benefits leave people struggling for weeks. A more compassionate, better funded benefits system would help so many people.