Name: Amanda

Age: 31

Location: Belfast

Project: Staff member with the Syrian

Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme

Why did you choose to work with Extern?

I completed my level three Social Work placement with Extern and felt a great sense of support throughout the team. Everyone had different skills and knowledge and added to a team who were experienced and very hardworking. When I qualified I applied for various jobs, all of them in Extern.

Tell us about a typical day for you

I travel across Northern Ireland visiting our refugee families and supporting them to resettle within their community. This is completed through linking families in with health services, education, benefits etc.

What are some of the challenges in your role?

Given where the service users have come from and the challenges they have faced, there can be many. There is of course a language barrier, and many of them need help to learn English in order to communicate more effectively.

As you’d expect, there are often considerable cultural differences as well, which must be taken into account when someone has been displaced from their own country and community.

What difference do you feel you and your colleagues make to your service users?

We are a strong, hard-working team. Our clients have been through great trauma, are very vulnerable and have complex physical and mental health needs. Supporting them to find the most suitable services is key. Without this, my clients would be isolated.

What have been some of the proudest moments working in Extern?

Seeing the families and/or individuals living independently, from attending English classes to going to Extern Works, as well as volunteering and completing training programmes. This reflects the dedication and hard work of keyworkers and families to fulfil the programme.

Download Amanda's Story