Porchlight

Today I started my volunteering for Porchlight. This charity mainly deals with homelessness but in quite a broad way. What I gathered today is that in this one area (which is called Live Well Kent) Porchlight have joined forces with Shaw Trust and work under the Kent County Council (KCC) and the NHS to provide support for people whether this be with housing, employment or even just finding a social circle of friends.

We were meant to have about 5 or 6 appointments today but only 2 men turned up. I won’t repeat why they came but it is clear that there are a lot of people who need help either a lot of a little. And I need to learn to be very neutral in my interactions. It is hard not to have judgements or to agree and disagree but that will be my job. To simply listen, to note and to refer.

I shadowed a lovely girl called Gemma, who is currently the ‘Community Link Worker’ but will leave soon to return to university and in her place will be a young guy so I hope by the time he comes in I understand it all a little better.

I will be working with them on a Wednesday in Tunbridge Wells and a Friday in Tunbridge.

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Age UK

Today I did my first volunteering day at Age UK. I plan to do a day volunteering on a Tuesday at the Dementia centre and a Thursday afternoon in the social day care centre.

Today was the social day care which meant everyone was there to ‘get out of the house’ shall we say. We provided them with teas, coffees, lunch and the occasional conversation. Today was one of the hottest days of the year so it was quite uncomfortable for everyone and I think some were regretting their decision to come today but, it was nice to know there is a place to come to interact.

I was praised for ‘getting on with it’ and felt it went well although at first I felt a little out of sorts. I think that people develop a tough skin in these environments and that is something I have to work on if I am going to be a Social Worker.

I do think charities like Age UK are extremely important though and I wish all elderly people had access to the service.-there is a cost involved in the food preparations and transport etc that the elderly people have to cover themselves and I presume that this is quite difficult for some people to afford.

All-in-all a good day and hope that I make a difference to people and garner valuable skills from this volunteering.

A Year of Volunteering

Good morning WordPress it has been a while. I haven’t written for so long and yet I quite like writing-you can say it all on one sheet of paper and no one-ok everyone- can judge you.

After moving to the UK-which we did in July 2015- I decided not be a journalist after applying and being accepted into the UWE in Bristol. This was a big moment for me as being accepted on the merit of my interview was incredibly ego boosting but then I got to thinking of money (lack of) and timing and it all was just not right. My American husband got a teaching job in Kent and so here we live.

I have quit my job as a Talent Acquisition Consultant-Fancy-and applied to work with 3 charities, Porchlight, a homeless charity. Age UK, a charity for the elderly, and MIND for those with mental health issues. Porchlight and Age UK have been extremely interested in the fact that I would like to be a Social Worker and said that they would take full advantage of this which means I will be busy but also, hopefully have doors opened for me.

I am in a precarious situation at the moment, the University of Kent have advised me that with a 2:2, this year (as in NOW) may be the last year that they can be flexible and I can be accepted onto the programme. After much thought and getting ready to apply today I have decided that it is worth the risk. I have committed to these 3 charities and want to continue with the original plan.

I would like to document my year as this may be a good way to prove my willing and commitment to carving a career in Social Care.