21st June 2021
Earlier this year the School of Access was able to secure a voluntary position for one college student to gain valuable research experience with Wirral Ark during the summer holidays, before heading off to university, as part of the college’s strategy of helping students to think about ‘careers not courses’.
There were a number of applications for the role, but Joe Halliday was selected, with Wirral Ark stating that Joe’s “enthusiasm shone through and so did his drive to take the steps needed for his future career”.
Having studied on our Access to HE Diploma in Social Science, Joe will now embark on a piece of research looking into the effects of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns upon the lives of homeless people.
It is thought this will be the first piece of research of its kind in the UK, with Joe interviewing service users at a number of Wirral Ark hostels, and also key workers to establish the impact of the lockdown on the country’s most marginalised people.
Joe hopes to progress to Liverpool University to study Psychology in September and is on course to complete his Access Diploma with all distinctions, which is a remarkable achievement given the difficulties we have experienced this year.
This opportunity will give him a vital insight into social research and show how organisations work with people who have a diverse range of complex needs; an experience that will no doubt help Joe in his ultimate career goal of becoming a clinical psychologist.
Joe visited the Wirral Ark charity on 1st June to have his first meeting with the Head of Fundraising and Development, Jacqueline Snell, who said:
“Covid-19 has been an extraordinary time and it has introduced even more pressures to Wirral Ark’s frontline services. The impact on homeless people who are some of the most at risk of exposure to Covid-19 and its effects has been devastating.
“Joe has shown incredible energy, enthusiasm and commitment to undertake this research and we’re really excited to be working with one of The City of Liverpool College’s students to highlight the impact of Covid-19 on the homeless population. This research will support us to develop new services and give a voice to homeless people, to share their experiences and hopes for the future.”
When asked about the opportunity, Joe said:
“Working with Wirral Ark is going to be an invaluable opportunity for me in respect of both my goals and aspirations, as well as my general life experience. I want to be a clinical psychologist in the future, so opportunities like this can do nothing but help me going forward, by providing me with crucial experience I will need both in university and in any future career. I am massively grateful to the college for providing me with such an opportunity, and I know how lucky I am to be able to work with a charity as fantastic as this one!”
To find out more about Wirral Ark and the work they do, click here, or to find out about our Access to HE courses, click here.