When I started reading about Imperial’s Charity Insights scheme, I knew it was something I would like to get involved in- a chance to experience the office life while doing something (hopefully!) of value. I reached out to WES in the hope of getting some insight into that age-old problem which plagues many of us here- the famous “where are all the girls” enigma. At the same time I wanted to contribute in some way to reducing the barriers faced by women in STEM fields.
WES was set up in 1919 to help the women who had flooded into engineering roles during the war, but faced strong social pressure to give up their jobs once it was over.
I am now 2 weeks into my time at Team Up! I am into the full swing of tube commutes and office work. But for the more interesting part of my experience: I have almost completed the first section of my project, in which I am creating a new set of mathematics assessment materials. I will soon be moving onto the second half of the project, which will be based on updating and amending the current lesson plans. For this period, I will have more free range and control over how things develop, mostly because my supervisor is away on holiday!
Despite being a 1st year Biology student, the amount of knowledge I have regarding neuroscience and neuro-disability is basic to say the most, much like the majority of the younger generation since the wonders of the brain and its workings are not a majorly touched on in the school curriculum.
The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability is an awe inspiring charity that provides specialist care for patients with neuro-disability and aims not only to rehabilitate patients but to improve their quality of life as a whole. For my project I will be working with the RHN with the aim of producing a toolbox of presentations that the hospital can use when visiting schools to raise awareness for the neuro-disability and the work of the charity, some of which will also be presented by myself.
To be honest I didn’t even realise that my journey at MEA has just pasted the half point a few days ago, not sure if it’s because my concentration on work or just because of that theory which states you feels time goes faster as you grow older. Anyway, let me introduce you what I have done since my first post.
After armed myself with related knowledge and learned what the organization do, I began to do researches that would benefit both MEA and myself. Nowadays solar PV is becoming a popular option for consumers to cut their energy bill as the price of Solar panel dropped significantly since 2011(from £11000 to around £5000 for a 16kW panel).
On the Monday of my fourth week at The Brilliant Club, the organisation held a Mid-term review. The entire team of approximately 60 people gathered in a single conference room and each department (Finance, Operations, Evaluation etc.) held a brief presentation to communicate their work and its outcomes to other departments. This was a unique experience in that it helped me complete my picture of how the entire organisation functioned and how different departments complement each other.
I had two major tasks to complete throughout this last week: to conduct interviews with former tutors from The Scholar’s Programme which I had scheduled in the previous week and to write up the report for the 2016 London Provider Feedback Survey according to the organisation’s brand and style guidelines.
At the start of my third week at The Brilliant Club (TBC), I learnt that I would not be able to interview project providers on The Nuffield Programme. The reason for this was most that although the Nuffield Research Placement scheme is run by TBC, it is funded by the Nuffield Foundation who did not approve of the project. This came as a slight shock because it meant that a significant part of the work I had done over the course of the past two weeks could not be used. However, there was fortunately a second option – I could quickly set up a different interview project where I would be to apply all of my recently acquired knowledge about the science of a research interview.
My first week at Clarity passed by quicker than expected. But that could be the result of starting on a Tuesday and finishing early on the Friday. But before I dive into the events of my first week at the charity, let me provide you with an insight into what they’re all about.
Clarity is a social enterprise that produces home care and personal care products. The company has charitable status as the majority of their workforce has some form of disability. The charity uses the money that they make from the sale of their products to support and provide employment for those with disabilities.
My Charity Insights internship is at The Brilliant Club – a charity that aims to increase the number of students from under-represented backgrounds at highly-selective universities in the United Kingdom. The Brilliant Club office is located in the Kensington Centre on Hammersmith road, next to Kensington Olympia. The entire London branch of the organisation is housed in a large open-space office which is shared together with Future First and has a seating capacity of approximately 100 people. My motivation to undertake a placement at this organisation stemmed from my previous experience of working for People In Need – a Czech charity focused on educating children from excluded Roma communities in the Czech Republic, and from my long-held belief that is it through education that growing world inequality should be tackled.
As most – if not all – precious participants of Charity Insights reflected in their blog posts, I too cannot believe three weeks have already flown by. I have learned and shared so much on my ongoing journey in the volunteering and non-for-profit sector. Since this post is meant for the reader, whatever brings you to read these words, to get a glimpse of my placement, I thought I’d share the most important and decisive moments I have had so far.
The key week was the second week, which involved lots of networking events where I had the opportunity the exchange thoughts with people from various backgrounds, ranging from hotel managers to social workers.
Reflecting back upon the first meeting with the Office Coordinator at the K&C Foundation, the primary objective was to raise awareness amongst small businesses in the borough. I am proud to say that I have visited and raised awareness amongst a total of 120 businesses during my time at the K&C Foundation. A total of 70 businesses provided appropriate contact details and were added to the business follow-up sheet, but not all of them were added to the database. During that same time, approximately twenty follow-up phone calls were made. I noticed that the businesses I contacted responded positively and were willing to discuss different ways in which they could get involved.