News | 21.12.2021 | By: Jo Grange

Painting rocks with our Occupational Therapy Students

Sinead, one our latest Occupational Therapy Students shares her thoughts on what she’s done whilst working at Headway Sussex this autumn.

My name is Sinead and I am currently at the end of a placement with Headway with my colleague Rebecca. We are Occupational Therapy students from the University of Brighton masters course. Whilst at Headway we have been running various activities at the Newick centre and the Eastbourne and Brighton Wellbeing Groups. We have been doing arts and craft groups as well as some quizzes and games. Recently a group of clients enjoyed painting rocks from the beach to put in the garden at the day centre. Some people chose festive themed pictures and others chose a more colourful style.

A fundamental skill of Occupational Therapists and one which we use to evaluate every activity we run at Headway is activity analysis. This approach breaks down each element of the task and is a process used to identify the inherent properties in a given activity as well as the skills, abilities or capacities required to complete it. Once this is complete we can modify or grade the activity to ensure each person can engage in a way which is meaningful to them.

Whilst at Headway, we have gained a greater understanding of acquired brain injuries and how they impact people in different ways. We were able to hear directly from clients about what is important to them and what they wish to achieve from the service, these skills will be vital in our future careers where we endeavour to be as client centred as possible. We have also experienced the wide variety of services and ongoing support Headway provide to people at all stages of their journey, from wellbeing and support groups to community outreach and the day centre. We have applied our occupational therapy theory and clinical knowledge while on placement in order to provide the most up to date, evidence based practice to Headways clients.

Jennie Musgrove, CEO comments “Headway benefits greatly from OT student placement in terms of the energy, positivity and the latest learning that students bring to the team. It is always refreshing to see students engage with clients, giving invaluable extra contributions through their well-informed person-centred practice. It enriches the support we can offer within the Living Well service.”