Reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues & recognising the importance of service user contribution to social work education

We did it!

On 11th May 2015 we successfully raised £690 of £500 target with 37 supporters in 45 days

Project aim

A student-led initiative to raise funds whilst raising the awareness of the important work of UNITY service users and carers group

About the project

On the 4th May 2015, students and service users from the University of Stirling will be abseiling down crags, into Bonny Prince Charlie's Cave, Camusbarron. This challenging abseil will involve traversing a waterfall, before entering the cave itself. This daring mission is being undertaken to show support for the valuable work done by the University's UNITY group.

UNITY is an inspirational group made up of service users and carers who have experienced social work services. The group comes together for meetings every six weeks to discuss the ways that service users can contribute to social work education. Members have diverse backgrounds; most have experienced either personal adversity, mental health issues, physical disabilities, or learning disabilities. UNITY involvement allows the group to develop their self-advocacy skills and empowers service users, building upon their existing strengths. UNITY members provide workshops for students, and speak at national conferences. This gives a group who have been marginalised in the past a very strong voice and a platform by which to have their voices heard. This helps to reduce the stigma associated with their conditions/challenges/life experiences and allows students to get to know the people behind the labels. They work actively to inspire students, by using their personal stories to show the ways that social workers can help individuals to build upon their strengths. They show the importance of working together towards equality.

The purpose of the abseil is to show solidarity with UNITY members and to show the importance that students place on their involvement.  Money raised will supplement the existing UNITY input into the social work degree and across the university. It is hoped that enough will be raised to allow new projects to be undertaken and to expand upon UNITY's input. Members describe UNITY as a caring environment, which builds upon self-confidence. Members gain a real sense of belonging, which is felt by students too. The members' caring natures shine through during workshops, enriching learning. The group is underpinned by a strong sense of belonging and reciprocity. For more information about the inspirational work that UNITY does, please have a look at: www.unity.wordpress.stir.ac.uk

HELP US SHOW UNITY MEMBERS HOW MUCH WE VALUE THEM. PLEASE SPONSOR US TODAY! Contribute as much, or as little as you are able to. Your help is appreciated!! Thank You!


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