A pair of medical students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have started a placement at Emmaus Burnley to learn more about people who have experienced homelessness.

On Monday 16 October, Great Rojprasitporn and Simone Alvares, both third year undergraduate students on the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) course at UCLan, joined Emmaus Burnley on a four-week work placement. Emmaus Burnley supports formerly homeless people by providing them with a stable home and meaningful work for as long as they need it.

Great Rojprasitporn, UCLan MBBS student, said: “I’m keen to learn how medical professionals can make that early intervention to help prevent people becoming homeless in the first place. The placement will also give me knowledge of the barriers people experience when looking to gain assistance from medical services.”

UCLan’s School of Medicine aims to enable every new graduate to confidently and competently approach their first working day as a caring and qualified doctor or professional anywhere in the world. The placement partnership with Emmaus Burnley is one of the first of its kind with a local third-sector organisation.

Simone Alvares, UCLan MBBS student, said: “This placement at Emmaus Burnley can help me in my career as a doctor as I can meet formerly homeless people and understand better their experience of dealing with medical professionals. It will also give me a chance to learn about a third-sector organisation and their role in society.”

Emmaus Burnley operates two social enterprises in Burnley and Accrington with all the money raised used to support the formerly homeless people who live and work at the charity. Members of the Emmaus Burnley community are able to access support with personal development, training and any help they may need to live independently.

Stephen Buchanan, Director at Emmaus Burnley, said: “We are delighted to welcome Great and Simone to our community, the first of a number of UCLan medical students on placement with us. I’m sure the placement with Emmaus Burnley will give the students a better understanding of homelessness and individuals with a variety of health support needs.”

UCLan is collaborating with three other local organisations to provide medical students with additional placements.  The other organisations are the Maundy Relief Trust in Accrington, Disability Equality North West in Preston and The Good Life Project in Nelson.

To find out more or support Emmaus Burnley head to www.emmaus.org.uk/burnley. If you would like to get involved or donate an item, please call 01282 430 860 or visit the Emmaus Burnley Superstore at Ivy Street, Burnley, BB10 1TD.