3rd Edition, May 18th, 2020 Megan Ormsby

Poem about the impact of the lockdown on a group of social work students from Ulster University

We were final year social work students, due to finish in May,
But little did we know that this would change on a Wednesday.
We arrived at placement ready for the busy day ahead,
Then to our surprise, were told ‘you’re finishing now instead’
We felt a wave of panic, thought ‘this can’t be true’,
We’re providing a service, and that is what we’ll do! 
Our Health and Social Care services need us, in times of worry and fear, 
It’s time to get our heads down and step it up a gear! 
Why are social workers needed? – Well that I can explain, 
To help families, struggling with trauma and unimaginable pain. 
We work beside others to fulfil a vital role, 
We will support you and your family – that is our main goal! 
Throughout the spread of Covid we are here for those in need, 
We are here for the most vulnerable, and that is guaranteed. 
Child abuse will continue, poverty and violence too, 
Children’s homes can’t close, that we cannot do! 
So we’re needed more than ever in such a challenging time, 
And you’ll find us with colleagues, working on the front line. 
We won’t get praised by BBC, or UTV or Sky
But that we show up and do our jobs can’t be denied.
We are working together to fight this, and will always do our best
And when this pandemic is over we’ll pick up the pieces with the rest. 
So our journey ended early, but a new one is starting, 
And as we move on to the next stage, this I am imparting – 
Ulster University, have showed us how it’s done – 
We are ready and I’m proud of everyone! 

Postscript May 2020

I was on a final Practice Learning Opportunity within a mental health inpatient unit. The Trust were fantastic in sourcing jobs for those of us graduating and I have been lucky enough to get a job back in the same ward. Although mental health services are maybe not considered “front line” we are already beginning to see the implications of C0VID-19 on mental health and there will be a long road ahead of us. The multidisciplinary team have been fantastic and I am glad to be providing an important service to those who need it.

Megan Ormsby, Social work student, Ulster University