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Mary Gibson

Outreach Educator
School of Social Work, Care and Community

Mary started working with us in 2020 as an Outreach Educator on the Social Work Degree Apprenticeship programme. Alongside this, she is a registered Social Worker, off-site Practice Educator (PE stage 2), and ASYE assessor. Mary's interest areas are work-based learning, practice education, person-centred theory and practice. Mary is registered with Social Work England and a member of BASW.

Mary's Outreach Educator role involves supporting apprentices and their employers with a focus on work-based learning - developing competence and confidence with social work knowledge, skills and behaviours wtihin the workplace. To achieve this she works closely with employers to support the development of staff enrolled on the course, supporting and enabling them on their journey towards becoming qualified and registered social workers.

Mary qualified as a social worker in 1996, and has worked for 15 years as a registered social worker within a local authority. During this time Mary worked in a range of teams within adult social care. These included a community mental health team (working with older adults), a team specialising in working with people with physical disabilities, as a social worker attached to GP surgeries, and hospital-based social work - acute, non-acute and psychiatric.

More recently Mary has worked extensively as an off-site Practice Educator within a variety of agencies - including those working with women who have experienced domestic abuse, a women’s centre, an agency working with people with learning disability and mental health issues, a community centre working with asylum seekers, AgeUK, an agency working with people within the LGBTQ+ community, a training/consultancy company promoting mental health and wellbeing, an agency supporting vulnerable families, secondary and primary schools, Lancashire Fire and Rescue.

In her PE work Mary is enthusiastic about working with students to develop ability for critical thinking, applying a range of knowledge to practice, developing communication skills and ‘use of self’, and exploring what it means to engage in relationship-based practice. Within supervision Mary aims to create a safe and supportive space for reflection on self and practice, and for the giving and receiving of constructive feedback.

In addition Mary has worked alongside newly qualified social workers as an ASYE assessor in non-local authority settings. Mary has also recently worked as a placement tutor for Lancaster University. In this role she supported social work students and PEs in a variety of local authority (across children’s and adult services) placements and third sector placements, including supporting students who were on placement during Covid-19.