April Lawrence of Half Tree Hollow (photo attached) graduated from the University of Portsmouth, on Tuesday, 18 July 2017, with a Master of Science Degree (MSc) in Social Work with Distinction.

April left the Island in 2015 to commence her MSc Social Work studies at the University of Portsmouth. This degree involved her completing various units such as Social Work, Theory and Context, Legal and Policy Frameworks for Social Work, Evidence-Based Practice, Critical Practice across Service User Groups, Empowering Service Users and Promoting Inclusion, as well as completing a dissertation.  Furthermore, April was required to complete two placements. Whilst on placement, in addition to completing the actual placement job role, she was required to complete university placement portfolios.

April’s first placement was in a refuge which was part of a domestic abuse service.  This organisation runs refuge accommodation and offers support and temporary accommodation to women and children escaping domestic abuse. Outreach services to women, children, young people and men who are not staying in refuge but are still in need of advice and information are also offered through this organisation.  April completed referrals for refuge and outreach support.  She also completed various risk assessments and support plans.

Additionally, April completed a voluntary Erasmus+ program in Henningsdorf, Germany, for a period of three months. This included work experience in the areas of municipal family, youth and integration work.

For her final university placement, April was based within a Family Intervention Team within the Local Authority.  As part of this placement, she completed the relevant assessments, conducted home visits to families and school visits to children and organised and chaired team meetings around the family meetings for the families on her caseload. This placement strongly advocated a whole family approach which she adhered to.

April commented:

“I am proud of myself and what I have accomplished and would encourage anyone who is thinking of going to university to certainly pursue this opportunity.  I can confidently say that another goal of mine has been achieved. 

“This degree was certainly challenging and took hard work, determination and organisation to complete all that needed to be done, however, all of the hard work has paid off.”

 April is now looking forward to returning to the Island as a newly Qualified Social Worker within the Safeguarding Directorate.

Director of Safeguarding, Matt Ansell, said:

“It is one of my main objectives to be able to support local staff into key roles to create a sustainable social care service for St Helena. It is therefore great to see April returning to the Island following the completion of her social work training. April is a great example of what hard work and dedication can achieve, and I am pleased to welcome her back to the directorate.”

April concluded:

“I would like to thank St Helena Government for providing me with this opportunity.  Thanks are also extended to the St Helena Government UK Representative, Mrs Kedell Worboys MBE, and her administration team. I would also like to say thank you to all of my family and friends as well as my colleagues in the Safeguarding Directorate for all of their help and support.  I must lastly thank my fiancé for his unwavering support throughout the duration of my studies towards a Master’s Degree.”

Congratulations are extended to April from all in SHG.


20 July 2017




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Email: communications@sainthelena.gov.sh