13th March 2020
I arrived at 9, as agreed upon in my initial meeting and induction – at first there was a lot of discussion about the Corona Virus outbreak currently happening – I was expecting this as businesses, employers and employees all need to be considering the actions to take that are best for everyone. If the government instructs closures of places then that is something that needs to be worked out. This was an interesting conversation for me to be able to be involved in as it gave me an insight into what businesses plan in these instances – if I had done my placement at another time without this problem going on around us, then I would not have been able to experience these discussions and different people’s thoughts on what should be done. Because of the service that Sunflower offer, there was a lot of factors that need to be taken into account so it was really interesting for me to hear so that if needs be, I can put the information I gathered into practice in the future. I was worried though at this point on how this virus will impact on my placement but until we have more understanding of the protocols being put in place, I just need to hope for the best.
I was able to meet with my supervisor and go over the last couple bits of paperwork that I needed to finish and also to quickly discuss again what I wanted to get out of the placement so that I can benefit from it the most – this was helpful as I was able to tell my supervisor my aims and objectives and we were able to come up with some initial ideas on how I could start working towards them.
I was also introduced to everyone and each of them explained their roles in the business – this was helpful as some of the employees who had roles more in line with what I am interested in told me that they were completely happy to speak to me if I had any questions or queries.
After the initial meeting in the morning, I was allowed to sit in on a drop-in session of Pebble Art – a arts therapy of sorts that is offered to any women that would like to drop in and paint a pebble. This was another really interesting experience for me – as completely uncreative as I am – I began to understand that it was not about doing the best art or anything like that – it was a place for women to go to have a distraction or just to talk and socialise with others. Painting pebbles – for whatever reasons – is very therapeutic and enjoyable. I enjoyed just being part of an environment where women felt comfortable talking about various different things – and to hear what people get out of art therapy and how it has helped them the more they do it. Because of my own personal experience, when I think of therapy, I think of talking therapies so that insight into other forms of therapy that people find more effective was brilliant for me. It was also an environment that allowed me straight away to start building my communication skills and my confidence in talking to people – as it was my first day for work experience, everyone was very interested in what I was doing, why I was doing it, my degree, what I wanted to get out of it and so forth, so I was able to engage in conversation with lots of different people about both them and me – which is one of my biggest aims for my placement.
On Friday Afternoons, there is a drop in sessions for new referrals to Sunflower – I started by shadowing another student who has been working there for about 5 months as she helped each new women with their referrals and working out which courses that Sunflower offer were best for them due to their experience. After being able to watch and shadow on a couple, I finally did one by myself – with the encouragement and reassurance from all the people in the office. It was rather nerve racking as there is quite a lot of information to give and I wanted to make sure I got everything right. I believe it went well – I did give slightly wrong information but my supervisor reassured me that it was totally okay and that it was only my first try and that I can just learn from it and move on. I took that on board and have tried not to worry about it obsessively, which is quite hard for me but I am trying. Again, this was another experience where I was able to work on my communication and confidence but I was really proud of myself at the end and the lady I was talking to could tell I was nervous and as she left, she told me that I did a great job.
After the drop-in session, I was able to ask the people that worked in the office about various things and questions that had arisen as I went through the day. – I learnt about a lot of the programmes that are offered, the processes and various steps that happen within their organisation and how some things are conducted within the larger area – not just the organisation but their place in the local area.
At the end of the day, I helped some of my colleagues carry supplies up the stairs which they were really appreciative of and that made me feel good about myself and was able to let me finish a good day with a good end.
Overall, it was a really good first day. Of course I was nervous but I completely threw myself into it as I believed that would be the best way for me to learn and make the most out of my placement. I am very pleased with how the day went, especially as I was able to complete a referral all by myself on the very first day.
The Corona Virus is a very black cloud hanging over us at the moment, and I am both anxious because I don’t know what is going to happen and I don’t want it to effect the centre and all the good it does for vulnerable people. But slightly glad as it will be give me extra knowledge on what the protocols are in these situations.
I hope my next day goes as well as my first one did and that each and every time I go in, my confidence and communication skills will just keep improving.
Total Hours on Placement: 7.5