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Conference Inspires Tomorrows Health and Social Care Professionals
This year the annual Health and Social Care conference was hosted by Christ the Kings St Mary’s. More than 200 students from all 3 Christ the King sites attended, they left the day inspired and motivated to succeed in their chosen field within the sector. The cross site Health and Social Care teachers were immensely proud to be able to welcome back former students who are now either working or about to work as Health and Social Care professionals.
The conference kicked off with a talk by Florence Soares who is a Mental Health Social Worker and a parent of one of our Health and Social Care students here at St Mary’s. Florence championed her profession, explaining that it entails incredible responsibility but with that responsibility comes immense reward. The students were clearly enthused and had many questions for Florence to answer following her talk.
Next came Sahara Shadley-Battantou. Sahara acted as a fantastic role model for students at the conference. Having started her journey as a Level 2 Health and Social Care student at St Mary’s back in 2012 Sahara went on to study Social Work at Anglia Ruskin University where she is a final year student.
The students then enjoyed a vlog presentation from Iruoma Okeke, a practicing Occupational Therapist and a former student of Christ the King Lewisham. Iruoma vlogged from her car explaining exactly how she became an Occupational Therapist, our 21st Century social media savvy students could relate to this form of presentation which was very apt for our increasingly technologically advanced Health and Social Care sector.
This year we welcomed back Tenika Richardson who is a Senior Paediatric nurse and a former student of Christ the king Lewisham. As always Tenika appealed to many of our students whose goal it is to work with children in a health context. Tenika again is a wonderful role model for our students being at the top of her field and having worked her way up from being a Lewisham student.
Gloria Mensah-Sombay is a current final year Health and Social Care student at Christ the King Sidcup. Gloria has successfully secured a place to study adult nursing at Kings College London this coming academic year. Gloria very bravely took to the lectern to speak about her journey through the UCAS process and her experiences of the selection process for entry to university. The students were able to quiz Gloria about what it takes to achieve a place at such a prestigious university as Kings.
Mark Acres gave a fun and moving talk about foster caring as a profession. He and his wife work as foster carers locally to us here at Sidcup. His contribution to the conference was particularly valuable showing our students that men also are involved in the sector in a caring capacity, an excellent inspiration for our male students. Mark made us laugh and cry when he talked about his love of foster caring and the responsibilities in entails.
Our penultimate speaker was Debbie Alliu. Debbie has been working as a Children and Families Social Worker for over 6 years. Before university Debbie studied at Christ the King Lewisham. Debbie spoke of the challenges of working with the most vulnerable in society and taught our students much about how to be a professional, whilst faced with potentially emotionally highly charged situations.
Our final speaker Patricia Britto is a second year PHD student and a teacher. Patricia is a former student of Christ the King Lewisham. Patricia gave a fantastic talk where she had the audience high fiving each other and making positive affirmations out loud! She was truly inspirational for our students and a wonderful high upon which to end our day.
Mrs R Salmon
Christ the King St Mary’s