Happy Holidays to Our Service Users

I wonder if many of you feel a bit like I do, in that it is hard, almost impossible, to believe that the end of the year is so close and 2022 is right around the corner. And what a year it has been for us all! I think we were hoping that life would have gone back to some degree of normality, and I guess it has in some ways, but there continues to be significant uncertainty and concern, which is impacting us all.

Despite the difficulties, the education for our students has continued, predominantly online, but more and more face-to-face, over the last few months, and the involvement of service users has continued to be prominent, valuable, and so highly valued by the School and the University.

When I joined the University in October 2019, I was impressed by the Service User Reference Group. Over the last few years, I have come to know and meet some of you and get a greater sense of the immense contribution you all make to the School across so many different levels. This partnership is integral to our survival and success as an institution that delivers health and social care practitioners knowledgeable, expert, empathetic, and clearly in touch with the community they serve.

As 2021 draws to a close, I want to send you all my warmest wishes for the festive season, hope that it is a restful and peaceful one for you and all your loved ones, and also to thank each one of you for your commitment and friendship to the School, and the work you do for us.

Holidays have a habit of bringing joy and sadness, and I know that some of us won’t necessarily be looking forward to the festive season. However, I’m struck by the community’s resilience, our ability to help each other, and the importance of connectedness.

Let me wish you, our valued partners and collaborators, peace and wellbeing over the holidays and into 2022. Whatever life has in store for us, I hope we can all find someone to connect to, someone to support, and someone to support us. I look forward to meeting and working with many more service users in 2022, exploring new ways and opportunities to draw on your valuable experience and expertise, and working together as a team.

Take care, and go well,

Vicky Joffe
Dean of the School of Health and Social Care