Last week, Year 12 student Ayusha Pradhan joined us from Carshalton High School for girls for a weeks work experience. On her final afternoon, she wrote a short blog for us about her five days at Jigsaw4u.
As part of my one week work experience, I chose to pursue a placement at Jigsaw4u after reading about the work of the charity on their website as I wanted to gain an insight of the work of the organisation.
On my first day, I was welcomed by Pam, the director of Jigsaw4u who gave me an overview of the charity and also gave me an idea of what the week at Jigsaw4u would entail. At that moment in time, I had not known that I would learn so much from just one week at Jigsaw4u. I was given a timetable for the week, which I could see had been constructed thoughtfully by Pam to ensure that I could get a good grasp of the work of the organisation.
Of course, I was informed about the health and safety procedures, where the importance of safety was greatly emphasise
After that, the volunteer coordinator went through the process of becoming a volunteer, which was quite interesting as I wasn’t aware of how there were certain stages before becoming a volunteer.
I had the opportunity to observe various staff who each had different roles and they all gave me an insight into the projects which they worked on. I sat in on a Grief Team meeting where I could see why communication is important when working in an organisation. Chris, a staff member from the Grief Team, talked me through the pre and post bereavement service. It was interesting to see the resources which were used to help children to understand cancer by taking a more visual approach which was said to be quite successful. From this, I think it is important for young people to consider seeking help from pre bereavement services as this can significantly help with post bereavement. It is extremely difficult when children have to go through these things, but Jigsaw4u have made this easier for those who have been accessing their service, through different activities such as making memory boxes and writing letters. As well as this, I also spoke with an art therapist, Pam Shields, who gave me an insight into how she ran her sessions and explained how art could help children to express their emotions. I learnt that art therapy is good for developing a child’s confidence and perhaps with letting go of any anger that they may be feeling, but to do this, Pam talked about how important it is to build a good relationship with the child.
Before my placement here, I did not have much knowledge about sensitive topics, as there had never been an opportunity to explore these topics. Although it has only been a week, I feel that being here has changed the way that I view life and has enabled me to become more open minded.
Additionally, I was lucky enough to visit three primary schools to observe how Jigsaw4u operate and provide support in primary schools. I observed the discussions that took place between staff members and students during transition groups and drop in sessions within the primary schools, where they emphasised the importance of acknowledging their own feelings and talking about these feelings with each other. The most important thing which I gathered from this is, it is important for children to identify their emotions and to address what they are feeling rather than bottling up how they’re feeling and Jigsaw4u help children to realise this. Another key thing discussed was communication where children were being educated on different forms of communication and the importance of team work. In one primary school, children were split into two groups where they learnt to work as a team to put together a jigsaw puzzle and the purpose of this was to help them understand why communication and team work is essential when working with others.
What particularly stood out to me from my placement here, is how committed and passionate the staff are towards their work. It is very clear that the staff want only the best for their young people and put a lot of time and effort into their work, which is truly remarkable and I personally believe that the organisation deserves more recognition. I would like to thank all the staff at Jigsaw4u for making my time here worthwhile and for this invaluable experience. I would also especially like to thank Pam for organising my placement here, which I am very grateful for.