Comensus involves service users, carers and the wider community in scholarly activities across a number of Schools at the University of Central Lancashire. Comensus has been developed to embed service user and carer voices within health and social care practice. We provide a central hub for co-ordination and facilitation of user and carer involvement.
We support students to be the best practitioners, researchers and educators they can be, and our aim is to provide a new dimension to the student experience at UCLan. Our volunteers are supported by Janet Garner and Steven Seymour, Service User and Carer Involvement Facilitators. Comensus members are a community of individuals from diverse backgrounds with a wide variety of health and social care experiences. The Comensus Strategy Group (CSG) meet regularly to plan project development, drive strategic involvement and oversee all of our activity.
Comensus get involved in many local community events throughout the year, including the Health Mela, the Open Mind Festival and the annual Disability and Carer’s Rights Festival at Preston Minster. We also attend community events in Preston and its surrounding areas.
The Comensus Group was set up to inform the project in 2004. It has now evolved into an Engagement group made up of academic staff members with an interest in user involvement; representatives of third sector community groups from Lancashire, representatives from Lancashire Care Foundation Trust, Preston City Council and service user/carer representatives from Comensus. Meetings are held quarterly and community partners often give presentations about their work with service users and carers. The groups also discusses opportunities to promote user involvement in teaching and make valuable links between the different stakeholders members. The back bone of this group are our service user and carer community members.
Please contact Stevie Seymour if you are interested in attending one of our Engagement group meetings at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We offer a range of opportunities at Comensus including:
The Film Festival will run again in 2020, more information coming soon,
The film society are showing film screenings throughout the year to celebrate or raise awareness around certain key topics in society.
Janet has worked for the SUCAG and Comensus groups since 2007 as a support worker, so has helped to organise meetings, Congress days, community engagement meetings, social days and teaching events for several years.
She now takes a lead for service user and carer involvement in the Schools of Nursing & Sports and Health Sciences, and is responsible for organising user involvement in teaching, meetings and recruiting new students to their programmes.
Steven started his post in July 2015 after working as the Education Officer at the Students’ Union. Steven graduated from the BA Social Work programme two years ago, meaning that he was taught by the Comensus volunteers throughout his degree.
Steven works across the Schools of Social Work and Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences. He firmly believes in service user and carer involvement in health and social care and has developed this through his core social work beliefs and values. He also has the tidiest desk in the office.