On Thursday 29 February, Iris Benson (AHP Improvement Lead Lived Experience Mersey Care Foundation Trust) visited Edge Hill University to speak with our first-year social workers.

Iris has been visiting the Faculty for the past four years, contributing to the social work student’s University Placement Day (UPD) curriculum across BA, MA and Mental Health Nursing & Social Work (MNSW) programmes; sharing her experiences of her traumatic childhood, her journey through mental health services and ongoing recovery.

She maintains she would not be where she is today without the help and support she received from social workers and nurses.

To our Sept 2022 BA Social Work students, Iris’s visit was their favourite UPD. She shares her experience in the most caring and supportive way to ensure that our students remain safe and comfortable. Not only that she brings treats and small gifts that convey messages of positivity.

Iris also works for Mersey Care and is involved in the newly qualified nurse’s preceptorship. Our Sept 2019 MNSW students (now employed by Mersey Care) first met Iris in October 2019 whilst on their programme, and again during their Mersey Care induction. Students recalled, “it was a lovely full circle moment and as ever we were left laughing and crying. Often at the same time.” Iris recalled them too, and mentioned she felt like a proud mum!

We are grateful to Iris as she contributed to the recent Social Work England Inspection with the Service User and Carer Group and in no small way added to the very positive outcome.

Read more about Iris Benson: https://www.communitycare.co.uk/2016/04/05/social-worker-saved-life/