Going into my second year of A-levels, it was recommended I do one week of work experience. I therefore found a placement at SPEAR within the fundraising team, but with the potential to get involved in other projects too. My work experience week started on the 2nd September at the office in Twickenham. Throughout the week I experienced working both in the office but also going and meeting volunteers and service users at SPEAR outside the office.
On Monday I was taken around the office by the Head of Fundraising to meet everyone and then I was taken down to the Hub where rough sleepers can get help. I was introduced to Daniel who previously worked in the Fresh Start Intervention Programme and now works in the Kingston Outreach team. We went to a new drop in run by both the Salvation Army and SPEAR from 11am until 1pm every Monday and Tuesday. People who are homeless can drop in for food, to get clothes or just for a chat.
I learned a bit about Daniel’s role as an Outreach Worker, including how twice a week; once early in the morning and one at night, he will go out and help identify people who are homeless in the area and see how SPEAR as a charity can help and support them going forwards.
On Tuesday I was based in the office with the fundraising team. Another volunteer taught me how the website worked, how it can be updated, new posts made and how you can see the preview of a post before it is published. I also learnt the Salesforce contacts database that the fundraising team use, which is a database used internationally by many business organisations.
Wednesday was an early start. I had to be at Wimbledon Station along with other members of the fundraising team by 7am for a two-hour collection, trying to catch people during rush hour. At first the collection started very slowly however, after moving position, things improved. Overall, we collected £188.86 from both in the morning and evening collection. I also did some more work in the office, helping with photo management which is an important part of work for SPEAR as these images get used on social media, on the website and in publications.
On Thursday I was with Kate and Sarah, two sisters who volunteer for the charity. They sort and organise clothes donated to SPEAR and take suitable clothes to the Hub where people who come to the Hub can take the items of clothes that they need. Clothes which are donated that are not suitable are sold at fairs and the funds raised are put back into the charity. I enjoyed getting to meet the people at the hub as well as sorting out the clothes. I also was able to join Key Policy Training where I learnt about Code of Conduct, Confidentiality, Equality and Diversity and Data Protection. It was quite an eye-opener to learn about all the behind the scenes systems in a charity.
Friday was my final day of work experience at SPEAR. I spoke with the Chief Executive of SPEAR, Stuart Nevill about his role in the charity as well as the responsibilities being a Chief Executive brings with it.
Overall, I have really enjoyed my work experience and would like to thank everyone at SPEAR for giving me the opportunity to get involved in a variety of areas and gain a broad understanding of the different areas of the charity.