Medical students get involved at Darnall Well Being

In November/December 2022, three medical students from Sheffield University spent their social accountability placement with us.

3 women standing outside a building, smiling to camera and holding up community newsletters
Fathimah, Nancy and Amran helping to deliver the Community Connector around Darnall

Over 4 weeks with us, as well as learning from our team about the services and support we offer, Amran, Fathimah and Nancy also helped out at a range of our activities and listened to feedback from some of our service users. The students also helped to distribute the Community Connector newsletter in the local area and helped out at Darnall Allotment Project. They shared some of their thoughts about Darnall Well Being at the end of their time with us:

As part of our placement, it was really lovely to help organise and welcome people in, as well as getting to know a different demographic in Darnall.

As a large number of people in the area are Muslim, offering women-only sessions is important, as it means that more women will be more likely to feel comfortable and engage with the community.

I think the most important part of the Men’s Health session is socialising, and having lunch and a cuppa together. Some of them live alone so you can tell they really appreciate being listened to and interacting with others.

The three students also put together this video to share some of their experiences with us and our service users:

The students shared the key things that they learned from Darnall Well Being in a presentation back at university. These included:

The importance of recognising and being aware of health inequalities

Especially between people of different ethnic backgrounds, noting that they really appreciate the efforts DWB have taken in trying to bridge differences by providing language support, increasing awareness through newsletters, engaging with local services that people frequent and providing activities that are either free or as cheap as possible.

The importance of social determinants of health

How social prescribing can aid in reducing poorer outcomes. They pointed out that the regular activities that DWB hold means that people are regularly engaged in physical activity or at least something that engages the mind.

How important community is

After speaking to so many different people from different backgrounds, they all mentioned that they enjoy interacting and meeting new people. This was especially true for those living by themselves or with just their partner. And how important it is for their mental health to just leave the house and meet others.

Man and woman smiling to camera
Fathimah helping out at Happy Memories Dementia Cafe
4 people standing next to a table full of seated men.
Amran, Fathimah and Nancy at Men’s Health group, December 2022

Finally, the students shared that they will take away from this experience the importance of not underestimating the social aspect of medicine. They felt that their placement with us really helped them to see the bigger picture; that medicine is about going in to help people and improve their quality of life, and so it’s important to recognise how big a factor the community and social side of someone’s life is in their care.