Accessibility Links
Quick Send CV
Cookies on our website
By continuing to use this website we will assume you are happy to receive cookies as outlined in our cookie policy
Accept Policy

Tagged In:  Social Work, Social Worker

The Isles of Scilly is an area of outstanding natural beauty. It enjoys Britain's mildest weather, attracts more than 120,000 visitors to its unspoilt shores each year and has just 2,153 residents. It is not difficult to see why Adult Social Worker, Beverley Hodgson, was so keen to talk to us about her experience of working and living there. 

“I remember it clearly”, Beverley recalls. “It was an uneventful Friday afternoon. My husband had gone to London for the day when Sanctuary got in touch about the role. Before I knew it, I had applied for what was initially a 12-week position and within a couple of weeks I was sitting on a veranda in the heart of Hugh Town on the main island of St Mary’s.”

Beverley instantly fell in love with island life and when her husband, Ian, joined her for two weeks, he decided to stay. As soon as a permanent position became available, Beverley accepted it. 

“Ian and I are quite reserved people. We would never have chosen to live in a small village, but there’s something special about the Isles of Scilly” she says. 

With 1,666 residents living on St Mary’s, an Island covering just 2.5 square miles, everyone knows everyone. “For instance, within half an hour of our son visiting us, the entire community knew who he was!” recalls Beverley.

Whilst the close-knit community certainly has its benefits, it also has its challenges. For example, if somebody was to have an appointment with the Community Psychiatric Nurse at the GP surgery, those waiting for another appointment would be able to see. Also, with the community being so small, there’s “no specific place of safety for victims of domestic abuse” says Beverley.

“It’s incredibly important to constantly be aware of your boundaries as a social worker” she remarks. More often than not, those working in statutory services will know the relatives or friends of the person they are caring for. Beverley says she found it best to be upfront and would say to them “I am going to see you out and about, but rest assured I’ll maintain your confidence”. This was really important as often Beverley would socialise with the people she worked with. 

Each morning, colleagues from health and social care services would meet for a 20-minute multi-disciplinary meeting at St Mary’s Hospital. “We would bring different ideas and discuss with the local GP the best care options for individual patients. The paramedics would also be present to provide us with details of any visits they had made the previous day. It was very effective, but only made possible by the size of the community.”

After the meeting, Beverley would make her way back to the office where she would notify various teams of any changes in care needs, and prepare for the day ahead. 

“Generally speaking, I was able to spend a lot more time with those needing my support. That’s not to say that delivering adult social care on the islands is without its stresses” says Beverley. “I had to learn pretty fast, as there aren’t any specialist adult social work teams there. If my manager was away, I would be the only adult social worker on the island” she adds.

To hear more about Beverley’s experiences as a social worker on the Isles of Scilly, the latest issue of the Sanctuary Social Work News magazine contains the full article and more!

Email a friend
Add new comment