They have created a special version of the Bill Withers’ classic Lean on Me with lyrics modified describing the role occupational therapy plays in helping people who have suffered health problems.
This has been accompanied by a video featuring footage of them singing the song and carrying out their regular work to help people get back on their feet.
In less than a week it has clocked up more than 1,000 views on YouTube.
The project was designed to raise awareness of the profession ahead of Occupational Therapy Week, which takes place next week and has been organised by the British Association of Occupational Therapists and the College of Occupational Therapists.
In addition, yesterday was World Occupational Therapy Day.
All of the 19 students who have taken part are second-year undergraduates at the University of Cumbria in Carlisle. The song was rewritten by Catherine Baxter, 41, who lives in Cockermouth, and performs locally.
She said: “It is song with a positive message; that we can be supported and that we can move forward and with a bit of confidence we can stand up on our own.”
Occupational therapists – commonly known as OTs – are employed to help people who have suffered illnesses or other health conditions which cause them problems living their everyday life. Their job is to work out practical solutions to problems which will then help them to live independently.
One example could be providing an arthritis sufferer with the equipment they need to be able to carry out tasks like peeling vegetables or using a phone.
They can work in a variety of places such as homes, workplaces, schools and prisons.
This is highlighted in the song’s lyrics such as: “You need an OT/Occupational Therapists/You’ll find us in hospitals, in schools and in prisons/Out in your own home/Helping you be/The individual you were born to be.”
Their work though is often not as well-known as that carried out by those in other health professions and the aim of the week is to promote their efforts to the public.
Each year the second year pupils are charged with coming up with a way to promote the week.
Hannah French, 32, from Brampton, said: “We help people to get back to who they are.”
Sophie Wallace, 20, who lives off Botchergate, Carlisle, added: “Even a lot of health professionals don’t know what OTs do.”
Susie Wilson, a senior lecturer at the university, said: “I am absolutely delighted, it was very innovative and creative and has received lots of retweets.”For more information visit the Twitter handle @OTCumbria and search for the hashtag #OTweek.
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