May 2, 2014, by Christopher Annable
Face to Face at the Clay project: a guest blog from one of our postgraduate placement students
Hello all, my name is Oliver Matias and I am a Health Psychology Masters student at the University and am fortunate enough to have been offered a Research Assistant placement through an Access and Communities project called Building Enterprise. The project offers paid placements to postgraduates within community organisations to undertake a piece of research. This placement is based with City Arts as part of their Clay Transformations project lead by one of our Senior Research Fellows, Dr Elaine Argyle.
I will be posting on here to let you know a little bit about what the placement is like and to keep you updated on the study’s progress.
Firstly if you study Psychology, or any subject for that matter, you may well know how difficult it can be to get a much coveted Research Assistant post. That is why it is excellent news that the University offer placements for post graduates through the Access and Communities team and I highly recommend you apply for one if you get the opportunity to do so!
As aforementioned, my placement is held at City Arts which is a Nottingham-based charity which runs a range of arts projects for vulnerable groups. The project I am working on is called ‘Clay Transformations’ in which clay is the mode of artistic expression and therapeutic benefit that is being used to improving people’s mental health and well being. The programme consists of three eight-week blocks each to be attended by different participants including both mental health service-users and professionals.
Myself and Elaine will be measuring participants’ levels of wellbeing and social inclusion at the beginning, middle and end of the workshops using numeric questionnaires, and throughout the programme will be using photovoice and an end of session logbook for a more qualitative data collection of everyone’s experience. Thus a mixed-methods design is being used.
I am looking forward to taking part in data collection through administering questionnaires, facilitating focus groups, and possibly conducting interviews too and ultimately helping to analyse this data once it has been obtained. I will also be contributing to the Clay Transformations dedicated webpage and facebook site.
As I am only attending participants’ assessment dates (i.e. the first, middle, and final weeks of each blocks) I will not be able to post here frequently, however when I do go I will write something new. In the meantime I will leave a series of photographs taken of the work done so far which speaks for itself in terms of the level of engagement and effort everybody has put in!
To find out more about postgraduate placements at Access and Communities visit our pagehttp://www.nottingham.ac.uk/community/communitypartnershipsteam/community-partnerships-projects/building-enterprise/building-enterprise.aspx
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