University joins forces with Help for Heroes Recovery Centre

Plymouth University has launched a collaboration with Help for Heroes’ Plymouth Recovery Centre to offer outstanding learning opportunities to students and wounded serving and veteran forces personnel. 

The collaboration, which officially began last week, will see the University offer academic, social and creative prospects for centre users, while selected students will have the chance to gain experience at the recovery centre in their chosen areas of study.

Jock Easton, Head of Recovery West from Help for Heroes, and Professor Trish Livsey, Executive Dean of the University’s Faculty of Health and Human Sciences, signed a Memorandum of Understanding at an introductory event last week. The event gave the charity’s beneficiaries and University representatives a chance to share ideas and discuss learning initiatives.

Plans are already underway for physiotherapy, social work and podiatry students to work alongside recovery centre professionals, gaining real-life experience to complement their academic study.

One student already benefitting from a work placement is social work undergraduate Danielle Davies. 

Danielle, 26, said: 

“The link between the University and the Recovery Centre is a fantastic opportunity for students. When I qualify I'll already have a network of professionals and peers to refer to thanks to this experience.”

In return, the charity’s beneficiaries will have access to a huge number of opportunities at the University, including using campus community space for recreation; undertaking academic study; and even inspiring areas of research. 

One of the charity’s beneficiaries, Chris Jones, is already working in partnership with mechanical engineers at the University in an attempt to set a land speed record at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge later this year. 

Professor Livsey explained why the collaboration is so valuable: 

“Help for Heroes is such an inspiring organisation and it’s fantastic that we are able to work with them in so many ways,” she said. “As with any of the University’s collaborations, the main focus will be ensuring that both students and partners have the best opportunities possible.
“Our health courses rely on extensive clinical practice to complement the academic learning, so working alongside world-class professionals who help to rehabilitate these inspiring people will be a real privilege and a fantastic experience. From boosting skills sets to conducting evidence-based health research to help the beneficiaries, there will be so many things that this collaboration can achieve.”
Jock Easton said: 

“We’re delighted that we’re teaming up with Plymouth University. With the Recovery Centre being based in Devonport Naval Base, they’re practically on our doorstep so it seems natural to tap into the opportunities that the University can offer for our beneficiaries and reciprocate by providing real life experience to aid the employability of students. There are so many possibilities and I look forward to seeing what the future has in store between our two establishments.”