Prince’s Trust: Day 44 (Monday 5th June 2017); Day 45 (Tuesday 6th June 2017)

Hey everybody,

Yeah, I know. “Where have you been, Lex?” I’ve been away.

The last two weeks of The Prince’s Trust Team Programme were busy. Although I wasn’t expecting anything else, it did leave us all knackered.

But enough of the excuses. Let’s just get on with it, shall we?!

On this day, we were at a day care centre for cerebral palsy with Cerebral Palsy Midlands (CPM). You can find out more about it here on their website. They also have a Twitter page. They are definitely worth looking up especially as they are celebrating their 70th anniversary.

The manager of the care home, Sarah, asked me to write a blog post or two on our experience of the centre and to talk about the session we sat in on.

I’ll do both on this blog post.

I’ll start with the experience of helping out in the day care centre first:

The two days were an eye-opening experience. Having had no experience of meeting people with cerebral palsy, I had no idea what it would be like apart from knowing that I’d need a lot of patience. Whilst we were there, we met people who were exceptionally funny, kind and welcoming despite having CP. In fact, I can categorically say now that I forgot they had cerebral palsy for the time I was there.

Lots of patience, understanding, compassion and empathy is needed even as a visitor here as everyone has different learning speeds and different levels of understanding (this is often because of other disabilities that they may have). This was made apparent to those of us who sat in on the training sessions. Everything is tailored to the clients learning speeds rather than at a pace which would be much easier for the rest of us to keep up with.

On the Monday we spent the day in alternating groups, decorating cupcakes to help celebrate CPM’s 70th birthday, participating in art classes and sitting in on music sessions. Young people like us, get a bad rap based on ill-informed assumptions. It was great for us to show that we were in fact the complete opposite, by using teamwork to build rapport amongst us and the clients. Sarah told us that the clients at the day-care centre greatly appreciated our presence.

On Tuesday, a few of us sat in on a training course run by a company called ‘Care First’, who deliver lessons at the day-care centre much like everyone else might at school, college or university. In the meanwhile, the rest of the team painted and decorated jewellery boxes and later in the day took part in a quiz. It also happened to be the day when the day-care centre whose resources were stretched because they were short-staffed. That lunchtime Team 125 helped get the meals to the clients. Although it was only a small thing for Team 125 to do, I felt like we did something really great and it’s always nice to give something back to the community.

That’s all for now.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

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Prince’s Trust: Day 43 (Friday 2nd June 2017)

Hey everybody,

This is going to be a very short blog post.

Apologies for that but not much happened.

I took the opportunity to reduce my CV from an embarrassing 3 pages to just a smidge over 1 page. I made a couple of customised ones but there is more I need to add to one of them.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

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Prince’s Trust: Day 42 (Thursday 1st June 2017)

Today we spent much of the morning thinking about next week.

I’ll be honest most of us find the idea of folder work quite mundane but if we want to gain our qualifications it has to be done – without qualms. Somehow, not that it’s important but I’ve been writing in my neatest handwriting. Don’t ask me how it happened.

We were then put into groups as some of us went to get resources for the activities we will be doing next week. Others were tasked with planning the activities. We were in charge of compiling a list of quiz questions. We made a good start but after our visit to one of our ‘Team Challenge’ places, we have to revise the questions.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

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Prince’s Trust: Day 41 (Wednesday 31st May)

Hey everybody,

We had someone to come in and talk to us about Anger Management. However, I can’t tell anyone what happened or what was said because I vowed to keep it strictly confidential. Unfortunately for you reading this, confidential is how it will stay.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

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Prince’s Trust: Day 40 (Tuesday 30th May 2017)

Hey everybody,

Today was a good day.

This morning we had a professional motivational speaker/ life coach come in to see us at our base. His name is Ralph Watson.

You can find Ralph on Twitter.

You can find Ralph’s company ‘Inspire Impact’ on Twitter.

You can find Ralph’s own website here.

You can find ‘Inspire Impact’ website here.

Check him and his company out, it’ll be well worth your time I promise you.

There was a lot about what Ralph was saying that I understood mainly from personal experience. Whilst I cannot speak for the rest of Team 125, I found it reassuring to know that I was not the only one who thought like this. I’ll be honest, there was also a strong reminder of what my parents have already said to me in the past.

The things I really understood were his five steps and his encouragement and enthusiasm for us to fulfil our own individual ambitions.

  1. Focus (What are your goals?)
  2. Hunger (Do you want to achieve your goals badly enough?)
  3. Effective Action (What pro-active steps can you take to achieve them?)
  4. Choose Your Pack (Who do you have around who can support you in your endeavours?)
  5. Impact (What is the desired outcome from achieving your goals?)

According to Ralph, we all need a pack that resembles a close-knit family. Unfortunately, these days there are fewer a fewer close-knit whole families. My only knowledge of this is because others make me aware of just how lucky I am to have the family I have. Just as Ralph said in his talk with us, in a wolf-pack every wolf knows it’s role which by its very nature, if successful, will ensure the pack’s survival.

For the purposes of this blog, I will answer those five things above.

  1. My goal is to become a best-selling novelist. Everyone has a novel in them or potentially an idea in them, it’s what they do with it that counts. Most do not pay it much attention, but I have always known that this is what I want to do for reasons that I’m not sure I have. You might have noticed my irregular hint-dropping throughout this blog that I am writing something. It’s true, although it’s by no means finished yet.
  2. Do I have the hunger? Yes, I do. Writing stories has been in my blood since I was small (around 7 years old), but it was until a summer holiday between years 8 & 9 (12/13 years old) when I realised that this was something I really wanted to do. The first novel-ish thing I wrote was awful to say the least (I’m so glad I deleted it, saved myself from the cringe-fest). I’ve spent the last decade or so trying to be good at it, and aside from the break I took after uni ended (for which reasons shall remain private), my desire to fulfil this ambition has never wavered.
  3. Writing the manuscript is a good start. I have a general overview of how I want the book to go but it never turns out that way. Sometimes the plot just darts off into the unknown and there’s little old me huffing and puffing after it in a bid to chase the thing down. Who am I kidding? That happens all the time.
    The next step after writing the manuscript is to edit, which judging by my need to constantly edit will probably hurl me onto the nearest therapist’s sofa. Honestly, send help. My mum said she’ll wrestle it off me if needs be (the manuscript, you can keep the sofa!).
    After editing, I’ll ask for help from a literary agent. If I have to, I’ll keep nagging until I find someone (watch out people, I have an inner-Mum and not afraid to use her). What happens after that could possibly end up with me having a publishing deal. I won’t stop until I get there.
  4. There’s an anedote that I presume everyone has heard of: “It’s take a village to raise a child.” Family has always been important to me (again for reasons I don’t have, it just is what it is). Friends are important to me more than ever. Trust me, I have some real corkers in my life (you know who you are). When I achieve something, I will make sure both family and friends are right there with me to celebrate. They are the village and in turn we’ve helped raise each other.
  5. Impact? The most important thing is that people read my work. As it stands, I’ve a list as long as my legs (I’m 1m68 or 5’6, so in the grand scheme of things it’s not that long) of people who want to read it when I’ve finished. Please just be patient. Hopefully, I’ll create enough of an impact to make my writing career last well into old age. Sometime soon, I hope to create an even bigger project than my writing career – that’s for another day.

That’s all for today.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

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Prince’s Trust: Day 36 (Monday 22nd May 2017); Day 37 (Tuesday 23rd May 2017); Day 38 (Wednesday 24th May 2017); Day 39 (Thursday 25th May 2017)

Dear everyone,

The events relating to The Prince’s Trust have been sparse. Outside of The Prince’s Trust, it has been a discombobulating week which has left the nation reeling, grieving, feeling disgusted but great pride in how the nation has pulled together. For now, let’s just keep things relatively normal (whatever that means).

Day 36 (Monday 22nd May 2017):

On Monday, we all met up to focus on CVs and interviews after our work placements ended last Friday. I went along dressed in a smart trouser suit and shirt (obviously later on as the weather got warmer, I became rather soggy in appearance), because we were going to a proper place of work and it was only right to dress appropriately.

Some of what happened in the CV sessions was a bit repetitive so the most I got from the day was when it came to the mock interviews. Surprisingly, I got full marks. The only bit of criticism which you may have already picked up on is the fact that I am not particularly self-confident. The idea of banging my own drum is a really rather repulsive thought. There have been some who have suggested that if I can’t find ways to be self-confident, I should fake it. That’s something I’ve never been able to do, but I’m willing to try I suppose.

Day 37 (Tuesday 23rd May 2017):

Tuesday morning, I was told the news about the previous night. The worst part about the whole thing was that many of the victims were children. They were someone’s family member. It’s completely and utterly disgusting that some numpty thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to do something like this. I just don’t understand it.

My Muslim friends were horrified by it and stood defiant. it is clear that the perpetrators are not true followers of Islam (a fact we all know to be true). They kept on shaking their heads in disbelief. To be honest, I’m not surprised by their reaction nor our fellow countrymen and countrywomen. Clearly, we are a nation who take comfort in grieving publicly and in being with the community. We take pride in our innate ability to pick ourselves up and carry on despite the difficulties. In the end, this is what makes Britain (Ol’ Blighty) great.

If you wish to donate to support the victims’ family JustGiving page set up by ‘Manchester Evening News’, please click here.

For the whole day at The Prince’s Trust we played catch up on our folders.

Day 38 (Wednesday 24th May 2017):

Some more catch up on folder work. Shuaib and I went to a lunch made for us to thank us for all the hard work we did on our work placements.

Day 39 (Thursday 25th May 2017):

There was more folder work.

Day 40 (Friday 26th May 2017):

We did a bit more folder work. We sat down in the glorious sunsine and I ate my lunch in a park 10 minutes from where I live (even tanned a bit which is so unlike me – I’d usually turn a nasty shade of lobster by now). We saw a play surrounding CSE (Child Sexual Exploitation) and participated in a Q&A about it. I won’t spoil it but let’s just say it involved a random facebook request. From personal experience I know not to accept people on there who I don’t know, because I was brought up with morals and the ability to know right from wrong. Remember, if you’ve never met them don’t speak to them. Don’t accept the random facebook request.

That’s all the news I have to tell you about from this week. There won’t be a blog post on Monday as it’s a bank holiday here. Hopefully, there will be some more fun stuff to tell you about next week.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

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Prince’s Trust: Day 35 (Friday 19th May 2017)

Hey everybody!

So it’s my last day on my work placement and I’m going to reflect a fair bit on what I’ve done – please bear with me.

I’ve finished editing one of the documents that Andre sent me. For obvious reasons I still can’t talk about it, you’ll just have to wait and see. The other document I’ll edit when I have time this weekend.

Whilst I still haven’t received that email I decided I’d take the initiative and google it for myself. I found out what to do and it’ll be sorted soon.

These past two weeks have gone by so quickly and so much has happened. It’s been mental, but the good kind of mental. There’s so much that I have been taught by Ash and Andre, and yet they have also given me the space to learn things by myself because I have taken the initiative. Here’s hoping there are plenty of bosses of organisations like Ash in the world of work and throughout the book publishing industry.

It was a surprise to learn that (according to ‘The Boss’ himself, Ash), I had been instrumental in pushing for the podcasts to be made because of my enthusiasm for it. What can I say? There’s nothing better than the idea of doing something new and unknown.  Here was I thinking that I had harped on and on about it too much for too long.

I’ve spent a lot of this past fortnight rolling with whatever challenges Ash, Andre and Lianne have given me. They didn’t think I was up to some of them, but I just had to prove them wrong, didn’t I? Typical Lexi behaviour.

However, it did concern me that I might not do a very good job with the editing I’ve been doing, purely because of how academic they are. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to university I worried that I’d be out of touch or out of my depth, but I have been pleasantly surprised by how well I’ve coped. As I pointed out to Ash whilst we were at lunch earlier today, there is a lot to be said for people who choose this industry – in particular those who write books for a living (fiction and non-fiction). The dedication, commitment to see the project all the way to the end, the focus, the time and effort that goes into such a large size project are all transferrable skills. It is mindboggling when companies tell me that they aren’t interested in what I have to offer in terms of skills, that I don’t have enough experience, or just not interested in me in general. If you want to be proved wrong just ask Ash, Andre and Lianne for the proof.

What do I have to say about Ash, Andre and Lianne?

First of all, it would be rude not to say thank you for letting me do work experience with you. I am grateful to you for the opportunity and I am glad you have allowed me to play my part and help out, albeit my role has been relatively minor considering. These three people are very understanding, kind and very relaxed which is ironic considering how busy they are and the fact they are (amongst other things) a part of the publishing industry. The working environment they create isn’t strict and there is the freedom to take the initiative whenever you so wish.

I have promised that should they ever require me to help out with more editing, I am more than willing. Why not?! Life is too short to pass up opportunities like this. This won’t be the last day I come back here. The door is always open, so I’ve been told.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

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