Case study

Helping others helped Magdalena gain confidence

A placement on a national health promotion programme has enabled Magdalena Slavikova to build confidence and develop her skills.

Getting healthy

Magdalena has been helping people improve their health. And, in doing so, she has improved her own academic and personal wellbeing. As part of her BSc (Hons) Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health course, Magdalena took the opportunity to carry out a voluntary placement with Walking for Health.

This is England’s largest network of health walks, run by volunteers to help people develop an active lifestyle. “I chose it because I liked the idea of being useful and helping people to improve their health,” says Magdalena.

The varied role helped her develop some essential work and personal skills: “I spent some time in the office working on databases and set up a new walking scheme, which involved searching and assessment of the terrain for the new route.”

Magdalena on a work placement
Magdalena, left, working at our Sports Centre

During walking sessions, Magdalena also led and supported the walkers, which she particularly enjoyed. “I was there to keep an eye on their health and to communicate with them – I got pleasure from knowing I was helping them to enhance their lifestyle.”

Magdalena feels that the placement has helped improve her teamwork, organisational and leadership skills. “I’m also more confident,” she says, “and I feel more competent when I come across different barriers during my study as well as in my everyday life.”

Her advice to anyone interested in doing a placement as part of their degree is: “Go ahead. A placement is the perfect opportunity to enrich yourself with new knowledge. You’ll meet new people, gain and improve your skills for both study and life.”

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