October 12, 2023, by School of Medicine

CIEL: The Student Committee for Me

Students having a conversation in a cade

Hi fellow MPT-ers!

My name is Iona, and I am in my final year of reading Medical Physiology and Therapeutics. Amongst the seemingly continuous (although very enjoyable!) MPT work, playing lacrosse and singing in the University choir, I have somehow squeezed in the time to be part of a fantastic group of students in the CIEL (Centre for Interprofessional Education and Learning) Student Committee. It is a privilege to not only join Adam, another 3rd year MPT student, in representing our course in the committee, but also to serve Nottingham more widely as a Community Service and Charity Partnership Coordinator.

Who are the CIEL Student Committee?

CIEL was a committee whose outreach I hadn’t quite appreciated before joining. It wasn’t until I saw their email in late Spring 2022 that I realised how aligned their aims and beliefs were with mine; this was to such an extent that I decided to try for a place on the committee! What really caught my eye was the multidisciplinary aspect of the team, representative of life outside of the university bubble, especially when working in patient-led care. My peers read a huge variety of degrees from nursing to pharmacology, social work to sport rehabilitation and veterinary medicine to pharmacy. We are a committee for every health and social care student at the university.

CIEL-ing my place in the committee (apologies for the terrible pun)

After applying and being interviewed individually by our predecessor for the role, Maria Myers (4th year pharmacy) and I started the 2022/23 academic year by deciding which of the many worthy Nottingham charities we might like to support. We presented our ideas to Suzy Plows, the Manager of CIEL, and the student committee in our first monthly meeting. It was then that we decided Emmanuel House ticked all our boxes: a local charity providing shelter, food, mental health aid, employment assistance and a real sense of inclusivity, compassion, and love at a time when the cost-of-living crisis had a very firm grip on society. Emmanuel House truly makes the most vulnerable feel welcome and valued.

Successes to date

Maria and I started the year by running a bake sale in the QMC Medical School in Autumn 2022, with students and esteemed professors of the Medicine, Life Sciences, Health Sciences, and Pharmacy schools coming to buy our committee’s baked goods. This was our first leap at designing and organising an event. Enthusiasm and patience were required when engaging our committee members in signing up for the rota for our stall and sorting who would bring which tasty treats. The event went very well, and I believe we sold out of food by mid-afternoon!

Our next endeavour to raise money for Emmanuel House’s vital services took the form of a summer fête on a Wednesday afternoon at the beginning of the summer term. This was more of a challenge; we had set to work during the spring to connect with local businesses and have them sell their products at our fête. Our pursuit was successful, nonetheless, and over £400 was raised for the charity, whilst we also helped Nottinghamshire-based companies (think charity shop clothes, Dutch pancakes, handmade flower resin earrings, tarot reading, brownies and traditional fair games) and the aims of CIEL become more widely known. Whilst it took a lot of organisation and a bit of inevitable last-minute panic, the feeling of joy and pride in our team in coming together to help the community was priceless. We saw our opportunity to make a difference, beyond the curricula of our health and social care degrees, and we took it.

Why should you join us?

I feel so lucky to have found such like-minded individuals who care as much as I do about improving the future of health and social care. We are responsibility-taking members of the community and, whilst we are only students, we share the same appreciation for bettering patient outcomes by working collaboratively and learning from each other’s expertise. This role has already shaped my university experience, providing opportunities to attend interprofessional conferences and publish my writing in our monthly newsletter, in addition to my commitment to raising money and providing first-hand care to those who are in need. The team and I have developed our organisational and communication skills when pulling together events (we also ran a pub quiz and an incredible ‘Whodunnit’ event last academic year) and I’m sure that this will prove invaluable when faced with the employment market after graduation! Our committee covers a range of specialties and roles, from more senior positions like President, Vice President, Activity Development Coordinator, Marketing and Social Media Coordinator, Newsletter Editor and my role to those whose time commitment is slightly smaller, like our valued array of Course Representatives. Please see the link below for the comprehensive list of roles in our team and contact me (mzyia10@nottingham.ac.uk) or our President, Jordan Raymont (ntyjr29@nottingham.ac.uk), if you are interested in getting involved; we would love to welcome you into our team.

The future is bright!

With a Lord Dearing Award nomination for our group last year, we are in an excellent position to start the 2023/24 academic year. With Maria having graduated with MPharm in the summer, we have welcomed in another fabulous MPT third year student, Sadie Fitzgerald, to continue the brilliant work. Together, Sadie and I are organising a Christmas market to raise money for Emmanuel house, a colour run to provide funds for the Self Help UK x Macmillan Beyond Diagnosis service and hopefully a concert with ‘Our Dementia Choir’ to raise awareness and money for their work. Alongside this, we are collaborating with a volunteering society from Nottingham Trent University to provide their members and our UoN health and social care students with volunteering opportunities with CIEL’s chosen charities. The committee is looking to run another ‘Whodunnit’ event, collaborative events with UoN’s SignSoc and Headucate as well as movie nights and much more, so please keep an eye out on our Instagram page (@uon_ciel_student_committee) for details.

By Iona Aylwin, 3rd Year Medical Physiology and Therapeutics






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