Another Summer – Another Internship

Starting our Occupational Therapy Internships within Alzheimer Scotland

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Who are Rachel and Marianne?

We are post graduate occupational therapy students at Queen Margaret University; we have just finished the first year of the MSc Occupational Therapy programme and are delighted to be working with Alzheimer Scotland over the summer before returning to university in September. We are settling in well to our internships, meeting lots of people and starting to develop outlines for our projects over the next few months and are delighted to share what we are doing in this week’s blog post.

Marianne on the left & Rachel on the right

Marianne on the left & Rachel on the right

Rachel: I have lived in Scotland for the past 10 years, after gaining a degree in Public Policy from the University of Glasgow I worked as a support worker in Glasgow and Dundee. I moved to Edinburgh to start the Occupational Therapy course and have really enjoyed being here so far. Occupational Therapy appealed to me as I think that it is a great way of working with people to meet their needs and to maintain or develop their skills to live independently.

Marianne: I graduated with a Psychology degree from Aberdeen University and spent 6 years working with the National Autistic Society. After initially working as a support worker, I was then involved in creating and delivering a social communication program in schools. As an Occupational Therapy student my desire is to contribute and be involved with other people’s journeys.

Why were you interested in this Alzheimer Scotland occupational therapy internship?

We both saw the internship as a great opportunity to learn and develop a wide range of skills over the summer months, we were both eager to fill our summer break from university with something that would be really interesting, challenging and different to our previous experiences.

The internship also provides opportunities to use the knowledge and skills that we are learning as Occupational Therapists in a completely different context to those we have experienced so far. We know that the internships are still quite new and different and therefore thought it would be interesting to be involved in them.

What will you be doing as an Alzheimer Scotland occupational therapy intern?

We will be based in the Alzheimer Scotland policy team and working alongside the Scottish Dementia Working group. We met the committee for the first time on 23rd June and are really excited to be working with such a motivated and enthusiastic group of people. We are in the process of developing a few projects with the group, in accordance with their strategic aims and objectives, to further build on the work that they do and to think how we can help as occupational therapy interns.

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These will include:

  • Developing ‘twitter champions’ and using social media with the group.
  • Changing the face of dementia using photos and images with the aim of showing people living with dementia engaged in meaningful activities and demonstrating what is important to them.
  • Finishing a “Top Tips” booklet developed with Lynsey, sharing strategies which members of the group have found useful in helping them to live well and independently.

Alongside the work with Scottish Dementia Working Group (@S_D_W_G ) we will also be developing the AHPdementia Instagram feed with a focus on the importance of meaningful occupations & staying active and independent. We will be developing a literature review on the use of photos and photography within dementia to support the work we are doing.

How will you share your work during the 3 months?

At the moment it feels like there are so many opportunities but you can be guaranteed to find out about what we are doing and what being an Occupational Therapy Intern is like through twitter -where you can follow us both @RachelStudentOT and @MWallaceOT.

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We will be posting photos to the @AHPDEMENTIA Instagram account so be sure to check in there too, as well as contributing more posts to “Let’s Talk About Dementia”.

We hope by the end of the internship to have designed posters which we can share with the other students at Queen Margaret University and also propose to present at next year’s College of Occupational Therapy conference, as well as a range of images that could be used in future projects.

Thank you to everyone that we have met so far, we are really enjoying our time here and we’re sure you’ll be hearing from us again soon. Rachel & Marianne.

Rachel Bew: IMG_20160628_102236084-ConvertImageOccupational Therapy Intern


I am a post graduate Occupational Therapy student at Queen Margaret University (QMU). I am an Occupational Therapy intern with Alzheimer Scotland, in partnership with QMU, for summer 2016 where I will be working with the Scottish Dementia Working Group to help change the face of dementia and use social media, such as instagram, to raise awareness.


Marianne Wallace: Marianne-Profile-Picture-ConvertImageOccupational Therapy Intern


Marianne graduated from Aberdeen University with a Psychology degree and spent 6 years working with the National Autistic Society. After initially working as a support worker, Marianne was involved in creating and delivering a social communication program called “Transitions”. Marianne has just finished her first year of a MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre Reg) programme at Queen Margaret University and is working as an Occupational Therapy Intern with Alzheimer Scotland. As an Occupational Therapy student her desire is to contribute and be involved with other people’s journeys.


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