Performing Arts graduate William making a difference for Talkback

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Date: 21st Nov 2018

Graduate William Willett is using skills learnt on his BA (Hons) Performing Arts (Film, TV and Stage) degree in a role as a Learning Disability Practitioner with the charity Talkback.

William, 25, who graduated in 2018, is working for the charity, for and with people with a learning disability, around Buckinghamshire. and says he's drawing on plenty he learnt at Bucks.William Willett

William’s role involves providing people with learning difficulties and disabilities such as autism, ADHD, down syndrome and various other conditions with a structured learning environment.

He said: “My main role involves supporting college students age 16-25 during their studies and providing educational support when they need it.

“These include group sessions where we have structured sessions which cover topics such as social issues, healthy living, and, more recently we have introduced driving theory sessions, covering what to do on the path to passing a driving test.”

He added: “I am implementing a lot of my work from university, including prolonged session planning and delivery, the importance of continued role-play to understanding people’s conditions, and an understanding of social issues.

“Thanks to the variety and depth of the degree programme at Bucks I am also able to imagine myself in other people’s conditions and this empathy is helping me in my working environment.”

William also co-leads the Talkback drama group and has introduced the first ever Talkback disability parkour sessions in Basingstoke.

Long-term, his ambition is to become a teacher and he hopes to move in to teacher training in the new year.

He also does part-time acting work on professional film sets, which have included extras/supporting artist roles in the Queen film Bohemian Rhapsody, Midsomer Murders, Black Mirror, Agatha Raisin, and various other roles. 

Dr Nic Fryer, Course Leader for BA (Hons) Performing Arts (Film, TV and Stage): “We are really proud to see graduates of the course like Will drawing on elements relating to teaching and community activities when they graduate.

“We look to ensure our graduates are open to the many opportunities and challenges the real world can offer. 

“The range of skills Will is using in his job is testament to his hard work and application and it’s particularly nice to see graduates of the University having an impact in our local community.”

Jeremy Hay, CEO of Talkback-UK Ltd, said: "Will has brought with him a wide range of skills from the University as well as an ability to make things happen.

"His creative ability coupled with his passion is making a huge difference to the people he works with. The learning at University is about how you apply it in life. Will is someone who applies it so well and is a credit to the University."

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