Skip to main content
Wayne Wedge, Ousman Youssouf, Maria Black and Cllr Suzy Horton)

Portsmouth young people aspire for future careers in social care

Callum Murphy

Senior Campaign and Events Officer
General News

General News

24 January 2022

A group of young people in Portsmouth have been inspired by seeing first-hand how social workers in the city can transform lives.

Each young person visited organisations across the city who support families during their time of need. They also met with different teams at Portsmouth City Council to understand what it takes to be a social worker.

The young people who took part in the activity all live in Portsmouth and are currently studying health and social care courses at the University of Portsmouth or Highbury College. They hope the experience will inspire others to consider a career in the profession. To do this, they shadowed a social worker for the day to experience what the role entails.

Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said: "Social work is a hugely rewarding job and one that benefits everyone in our community.

"Work experience is a great way for someone to get a taste of something they've never done before. All those who took part have shown an interest in becoming social workers and are undertaking a training course in that very subject. I can't wait to see what the future holds for them."

Maria Black, shadowed a social worker during the experience. Maria said she had always wanted to learn more about the profession.

Maria said: "After completing a social care course at HSDC, I knew the profession was something that interested me. I've worked as a carer and in a hospital. This gave me the experience I needed to enrol on a social work degree at the University of Portsmouth.

"I've worked hard to get where I am and look forward to graduating in the future. Aspirations Week gave me real world experience in different areas of social work, enabling me to understand the rewards and challenges of the job."

Wayne Wedge, who is in the final year of his social work degree said: "When you become a social worker, you have to continually improve your practice by staying up to date through training. My degree in social work has given me what I need to begin that journey. Shadowing a social worker for the day has helped reaffirm where I am headed.

"During the experience, I learnt about the types of personal development opportunities that I could undertake to gain the skills and knowledge I need to support other people."

Ousman Youssouf, who is enrolled on a health and care course at Highbury College said: "My qualification is a great starting point to learn more about the sector and the types of jobs that are available to me. All are rewarding but social work is one that I knew least about. I learnt a lot about myself and what I wanted from a job in social care.

"The experience allowed me to speak with social workers who gave me useful advice about their own training and career development. It has given an idea of what I want to do in the future."

Young people interested in becoming a social worker will now benefit from a new service set up by Portsmouth City Council. Stronger Futures provides useful resources and links to find local training providers.

About Maria Black

Maria Black

After completing an apprenticeship in customer service at Portsmouth City Council, Maria found employment as a carer and worked in a local hospital. Alongside her jobs, Maria completed a health and social care course at Havant and South Downs College (HSDC) in the evening.

In October 2021, she started her first year at the University of Portsmouth studying a BSc Hons in Social Work. Maria has shown resilience and has become far more independent during this time. She has secured her own accommodation while pursuing her educational goals.

About Wayne Wedge

Wayne Wedge

Wayne gained a level 4 qualification in social care at Middlesbrough University in 2016. After this time, he returned to Fareham and enrolled on a BSc in social work at the University of Portsmouth. He is currently in his final year and on placement, working for Hampshire County Council in the CAST 2 team (children assessment and safeguarding team).

In the future, Wayne is interested in working with young people who leave care. He will be graduating later this year and hopes to apply his knowledge gained from his degree in a new role.

About Ousman Youssouf

Ousman YoussoufOusman attends Highbury College studying English, maths and health and social care. Ousman's level of English has improved massively since coming to the UK and has dedicated a lot of time into his education.

Ousman decided to enrol on a health and social care course in January 2022 to push his boundaries. He jumped at the opportunity to experience a day in the life of a social worker to improve his knowledge of the profession.