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Social Policy work Experience

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Introduction

Social Policy work Experience Part 1 I am currently participating in a project named 'Curtain Call' which is organised by Hallam Volunteering. Hallam volunteering is part of the students union at Sheffield Hallam University. The organisation is led by students, it is controlled and managed by one head student who is elected to take control by other students via a vote. It does however have five members of staff who are not students; they are full-time members of staff, with their roles involving support and guidance for student volunteers (www.hallamunion.co.uk) Hallam Volunteering was set up over thirty years ago by a small group of students who wanted to take action and help the community. This group got bigger and received more recognition and was formally recognised by the students union. Students led the organisation for ten years but it grew so much that a full-time member of staff was needed. The organisation has progressed rapidly over the past few years as three years ago it had only one member of staff and eight projects, today it has five members of staff and is currently participating in thirty-four projects. Hallam volunteering is funded via the government, by an active community fund, two years ago HEFCE (Higher Education Active Community Fund) (www.hefce.ac.uk) set up a policy whereby each university in England would be given money for volunteering, the money given to each university varies depending on the size of the university and the amount of students there are attending the university, the amounts given to each university ranged between �10,000 and �500,000. This fund was set up, as it wanted to encourage greater involvement of students (and staff) in voluntary and community activities. They believe that volunteering promotes a fairer, more cohesive society in which the individuals feel they have a stake. This policy is to be reviewed in August 2004 and until then Hallam volunteering is unaware as to how much money they will receive for the next year. ...read more.

Middle

When working with the children I have learnt to be patient, I can not expect the children to do as I say, this was evident when the children had not leant their lines, but it was because of reading difficulties so I sat down and helped them through it at a slower pace than expected, but at an enjoyable pace, as the children were still having an pleasurable time. The project has also allowed me to gain some responsibility, the project was important to me as I wanted it to be successful not only for myself but for the children. It made me determined to attend every session and make sure that the play was definitely going to go ahead, and be a great performance. The experience has made me truly aware of the volunteering sector of society and it has definitely encouraged me to want to take place in other projects, and I am going to participate in another project next year with Hallam volunteering. Participating in both hands-on work and work in meetings, I have decided that when I go into full-time work I want to participate in a job which is defined as 'hands-on'. I enjoyed and gained a lot more from the time I spent in the school, than the time I spent in meetings. The project has also made me consider working with children in the future, a great sense of worth is gained from helping children learn, and enjoy themselves. I think this will be something I will do as an extra activity in the voluntary sector as I can now see how important it is to help those in you community. Overall the project has been successful not only for the children who got to put on a school play but for myself as I have learnt a great deal about the voluntary sector and how it helps wider society. ...read more.

Conclusion

Giddens insight into tackling social exclusion does add a new dimension to solving the issue social exclusion with the two interdependent processes. This adds to the issues that social exclusion is an issue that will take time and effort to overcome as it is a broad issues and affects all aspects of life including education, health, housing and a lack of more general social amenities. (Giddens, 1998: 49) Giddens goes on to suggest that social exclusion can be solved through reflexive modernisation. Reflexive modernisation refers to the way in which advanced modernity 'becomes it own theme'. (Marshall, 1998:557) He argues that the problem should not be targeted directly at those socially excluded, but by beginning where the exclusion begins which is education, so like the government, Giddens identify that the institutions are what need changing in order to prevent more exclusion, through new educational policies, such as The White Paper and Education Action Zones. It is evident that social exclusion is at the heart of government policies and that equality and opportunity for all needs to be considered in order to demolish deprived areas of society and reduce the amount of people who are considered to be socially excluded from society. New Labour and the Third way do have a strong commitment to social justice and believe that the state has an active role to play in creating opportunities for individuals to become part of an inclusive society. Though they have offered ideas and proposals in order to address the problems of social exclusion, I am yet to find whether any of the policies in the education system have actually been successful in reducing the outcome of social exclusion. From working at a school in a socially excluded area of society I am able to see that through some changes in the education system these children will be able to get employment and hopefully become part of an inclusive society. ...read more.

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