Monday, 31 July 2017

What it's like to do work experience with Yes to Life - By Finn Faria

Today's blog is by 16 year old Finn, who completed his work experience with us 2 weeks ago...

Upon starting my work experience after finishing my GCSEs, I felt extremely privileged to be able to be spending the 8 days at Yes to Life. I had previously heard about the informative and helpful work the charity undertakes from my mum, who is a beneficiary. Knowing that I would be able to learn exactly how the charity’s aims were carried out, and also that I would be able to be part of it, was very exciting.

On my first day I was greeted by Sue and Edana, and, after an intriguing introduction into the world of databases, shared drives and all things IT-related, began working to update the charity’s mission statement throughout the internet. This involved a lot of liaising with various websites in order for them to change the way Yes to Life was described on their website. It was very satisfying to see the end result – a changed mission statement on another company’s website.

Concluding the first day was an opportunity to see the charity’s work first hand. This was in the form of a functional nutrition talk which was set up and co-ordinated by Yes to Life. Not only was it a superb talk, but also well-managed in terms of venue, timing and refreshments. The talk not only opened my eyes to the hard work and organisation that is required to set up these events, but also showed how the smaller office and admin tasks can all contribute to a much larger picture. And this is only at the smaller end of the scale of what the charity does to inform thousands of cancer patients across the UK.

As the week went on, the tasks and skills required changed. On my third day I was given the job of researching the speakers at an event in Guernsey. I really enjoyed this as I was able to do something useful for the charity that would eventually develop into a similar event, hopefully – not to give too much away - in the near future. Whilst doing this, I became more knowledgeable about the world of integrative treatment and CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine – an acronym I had not known prior to my time at Yes to Life!). I also discovered how close-knit the community surrounding it is, and how Yes to Life plays a vital role in allowing people with cancer to access this knowledge too.

The following week, the whole team began focusing work on a 10k race* that is to take place in September. I was made to feel so much part of the team that there is no question but that I will run the race (even though it’s on my birthday!).

The skills that I have gained from the Yes to Life office are indispensable. The technical skills included learning for the first time how to edit a website and directory, structuring emails to a range of companies and analysing social media reach. But just as importantly for me, it was my first experience of working in an office environment, with all the etiquette that that entails. I now know that the easiest way to become a popular colleague is to make the tea!

I would like to thank Sue, Edana and all the team for making me feel so welcome, and I wish all the best for Yes to Life. Working with you has changed my attitudes towards working and towards integrative medicine.

Finn Faria, Ilford County High School, age 16

*If you would like to join Finn on his birthday and help us raise funds by running the 10K in Victoria Park, London on Sunday 24th September, goto

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