St Martins has an arrangement with Molde University College in Norway to host second year social care students. We provide work placements and the opportunity to learn from experienced staff at St Martins in return for an enthusiastic and hard worker to join our team for three months. The exchange programme is supported by the University of East Anglia.
Cheryl and Lucy from our Community team travelled to Norway last month to present the work of St Martins to the university, to invite more students to apply and build on the international relationship that is forming.
There was a chance to learn about homelessness provision in Norway via local organisation Ressurstjenesten. In Norway there is a law that everyone has to be offered suitable accommodation regardless of their circumstances or vulnerability. All services are funded via public funds and are operated in the community.
Cheryl and Lucy met with NAV, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration that employs around 19,000 people and administers a third of the national budget through schemes such as unemployment benefit, sickness benefit, disability benefit, pensions, child benefit and other benefits. We talked to them about homelessness in East Anglia and Norwich and shared St Martins approach to reduce this.
Head of Community Services Cheryl O’Sullivan said, “The exchange programme is of real benefit to St Martins and we feel it’s important to nurture these links and also share our experiences of working practice. We spoke to a number of students who are interested in coming to Norfolk and work in the community here in Norwich with people who have poor mental health and substance misuse.”