World Social Work Day 2024: Cheryl's profound impact on service users lives

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust in News, Social Work on 22nd March, 2024

Cheryl Fry, Senior Mental Health Practitioner, and the World Social Work Day 2024 logo"I like to see the look on their faces when I show understanding and offer information regarding autistic spectrum conditions and ADHD. This is often when clients realise they are not alone and their sensory issues and previous behaviours start making start sense to them."

To conclude our celebrations for World Social Work Day 2024, Cheryl Fry, Senior Mental Health Practitioner in the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), reflects on her journey into social work and the profound impact she has had on the lives of service users.

I worked in a mental health drop-in centre for ten years as a support worker. During this time I completed a degree in social work and qualified as a social worker. Then, I worked in children's services for eight months for the local authority, but realised this wasn't for me. I then joined Devon Partnership NHS Trust as a Band 5 mental health practitioner, and then completed my assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE). After that, I applied for my current Band 6 role as a senior mental health practitioner and I have been in this role for four years now.

What drew me to social work is that I enjoy meeting new people, offering them protected time to talk, listening to their story and supporting them with their mental health. I’ll make referrals with them for support with making positive changes to enhance their skills and enabling them to have better quality of life.

I like my job because it's very varied, never boring. But there are challenges as in every team: not enough staff and lots of admin to do.

I am very interested in learning as much as I can about neurodiversity and have gained much experience in this area as many clients present with this. I like to see the look on their faces when I show understanding and offer information regarding autistic spectrum conditions and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This is often when clients realise they are not alone and their sensory issues and previous behaviours start making start sense to them.

If we could make changes, I would like to see more social workers in the organisation, especially in my team.

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