Student Placements – University of Brighton

Sussex Empowered Living is a supported living company that provides supported living for individuals who are autistic, have mental health conditions, and/or a learning disability. At Sussex Empowered Living we are passionate about moving forwards, together. We believe that together is better, collaboration in the community is key, and opportunity is for everybody. One of our key values is being people powered. We believe that positive relationships with organisations external to the company bring positive impacts to our service users. That’s why we are proud to work in partnership with The University of Brighton in facilitating placement opportunities for their students, who are looking to pursue a career in social care or work.

It could be said that Brighton naturally attracts a large array of diversity, authenticity, talent, and uniqueness, which represents everything Sussex Empowered Living strives for in its workforce. So therefore, to establish a relationship with The University of Brighton and its students felt instinctive to us. This relationship provides these students with real life experience in situations relevant to their line of study, allowing the opportunity for the students to implement their classroom learnings. The learning doesn’t stop at the classroom though, we believe our placements offer students invaluable skills for working within the care industry, skills which will benefit the students and any other future service users lives they may touch.

Another key value of Sussex Empowered Living is innovation, we believe in an ever-evolving service which is current and progressive. By facilitating these placements for the University of Brighton’s students, we believe this injects the most up to date academic industry learnings and research, fresh energy, and exciting enthusiasm into our already exceptional supported living service. These taught skills and knowledge ultimately benefit our service users who are the recipients of this invaluable components.  

Don’t just take our word for it, we asked the University of Brighton for their opinion on the partnership and placements:

“Sussex Empowered Living have worked in partnership with the University of Brighton to provide placement opportunities to our Social Work students in recent years. The organisation provides an encouraging and supportive learning environment where students can develop their understanding of the local community and resources and cultivate fundamental skills, they need to work with service users. By the end of the placement students have developed skills around communication, developing relationships, advocacy, interprofessional working and understanding the process of assessing need and risk which they can take forward into their final placements and qualified practice.”

University of Social Works placement team.

We also asked our current student placement E how they felt about their experience with Sussex Empowered Living:

Why did you want to do the placement with SEL? 

When I first heard about where my placement would be, I was so pleased that I would have the opportunity to work with a range of adults with all different needs. It was clear SEL provided person-centred care to a variety of clients and I was excited to be a part of this”. 

What do you feel you have learnt throughout the placement?

My placement with SEL was 70 days spaced out over a 5 month period so I was able to get to know the clients and staff very well. I learnt a lot about building relationships and thinking creatively of the best ways to do this. It highlighted to me the importance of adapting your approach and tailoring support to specific adults in order to build a strong trusting relationship. I was able to learn this through observing and shadowing other staff. Additionally, my placement at SEL showed me how important team work is. Team meetings and handovers were a great example of the team sharing information such as techniques that have worked well, in order to enhance the support we could provide going forward. To be a part of such a strong team was a privilege”. 

How will this placement help you in the future?

The placement was an amazing opportunity for me to grow my confidence in working with adults with complex needs. At the beginning I was very hesitant about lone working, however SEL has provided me with the experience I needed to feel more at ease and able when working with adults. Taking this into the future I will push myself out of my comfort zone more in order to learn more skills that will further benefit me. 

University of Brighton Student Placement – E.

We would like to say a huge thank you to the University of Brighton and our placement students for working towards Sussex Empowered Livings mission to empower our service users to live independent and fulfilled lives, and therefore moving people forwards, together.

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