Donna Harris Graduates With BSc (Hons) Social Work Degree

Donna Harris of Jamestown has recently graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a BSc (Hons) Social Work degree and achieved a Bachelor of Science in Social Studies award with merit, following three years of study.

Throughout her three years of study, Donna completed modules which included theory and knowledge in social work, contextualising social work, the life course and social work, professionalism and professional social work practice, social work law and social policy, social work skills and interventions, social work with children and families and social work with adults. Her final project included a dissertation on a ‘review of literature in the understanding and management of social workers’ dual relationship roles in small and rural communities’.

Donna explained:

“The modules enabled me to understand and apply the policies, legislation and professionalism relevant to the role of a Social Worker and through my final evidence matrix I was able to demonstrate I had met the required ‘Professional Capability Framework’.”

The COVID-19 pandemic struck when Donna had just started her first placement with Portsmouth City Council within their Connected Persons section. This meant that the majority of students had to stop their placements and remain studying from home moving to a blended learning approach to complete their BSc Social Work degree. The pandemic also impacted on Donna’s second placements within her final year as finding services that could accommodate students was difficult. Donna was fortunate to remain in a front line service with Hampshire County Council Children’s Services. This placement was important for Donna as Children & Adults Social Care on St Helena work in partnership with Hampshire County Council.

Donna commented:

“These three years have flown by so quickly and whilst sat at Guildhall in my gown and mortar I proudly reflected over this period of time, I have made new lifelong friends, networked with professionals to gain a wider exposure to social work practice in the UK, gained a wealth of social work knowledge and experience, and exceeded my expectations in my continuous professional development. With the success there also comes sadness and a very dark period of my life where I questioned whether I was able to continue and complete my degree. I had to cope with personal tragedies which included the loss of my Uncle Stedson to COVID, my dad and my good friend Marie. However, my resilience and my passion to succeed and complete my degree did not go unnoticed and I was awarded ‘The Social Work Inclusion Group Memorial Prize’ from the University of Portsmouth.”

Donna will remain in the UK for a further two years to gain valuable exposure and experience in her application to participate in the ASYE (Assisted and Supported Year in Employment) programme.

Donna concluded:

“I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has sent words of comfort, encouragement and support over the last three years, you kept me going. To Kedell Worboys MBE, who, no matter what time – day or night – is always there to support the welfare and wellbeing of all students, to my mentors Samantha Phippard (nee Dunn) and April Lawrence. To Stephanie Jones and Katie West, former TC workers, that even after they left St Helena continued to support me in proof reading assignments, and to Tracy Poole-Nandy and Jackie Moyce thank you for your ongoing support especially when I had to come back to the Island on compassionate leave and providing me with facilities to continue my studies whilst on-Island.

“It’s time now to put what I have learnt into practice and I look forward to 2023 when I will return to the Island and continue my journey as a Qualified Social Worker on St Helena.”

Director of Children & Adults Social Care, Tracy Poole-Nandy, concluded:

“As the Director of Social Care, I would like to say how proud we are of Donna who has successfully passed her Social Work Degree in the UK. Donna has achieved this despite the challenges of a significant bereavement and COVID-19. Donna has demonstrated her sheer will and determination throughout her qualification and will be a welcome asset to St Helena upon her return.”

Congratulations are extended to Donna!

#StHelena #Graduation #SaintSuccess


12 August 2021

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470