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My Work Experience Adventure at Tenovus Cancer Care Charity
Having completed my work experience, I wanted to highlight just how beneficial and rewarding volunteering can be, at any given charity! My role at Tenovus Cancer Care was to be a Social Media Assistant, having previous experience in blogging and being addicted to social media, this role fits me well.
I worked alongside two lovely ladies, Abigail and Cath, who have both worked at Tenovus Cancer Care for a long time and know the ins and outs of the charity very well… the first point of the call was to discuss what they felt the charity lacked, especially in the store I was based in. It was brought to my attention the charity overall was short of diversity within its volunteers, statistically speaking, those aged between 65 to 74 typically reflect those most likely to volunteer (NVCO, 2021). Both Abby and Cath agreed that their biggest goal would be to be able to increase the number of young volunteers and to increase the number of volunteers who have a disability.
This was really important to me because I know from experience, how daunting it can be to change scenery and try something new, having a disability myself some things can be a challenge and thus, I knew it was really important to highlight just how advantageous and fulfilling volunteering can be and just to overall reassure people that despite having a disability, you should not let your disability live your life for you and that Tenovus Cancer Care is an environment full of support, care and compassion.
After many Teams meetings and a lot of problem-solving, I suggested we target the age demographic head-on and post engaging content that would grab people’s attention on the relevant social media platforms. Globally speaking, Instagram’s main age demographic users are those aged between 18-24 (Statista, 2023), so, I suggested we mainly focus on uploading content to Instagram to be able to effectively target this demographic.
One challenge down, the next challenge heading my way was, what do we post??…
(Met Coaches, n.d.)
Again, I had to put my thinking cap on and really put thought into what I would find interesting to see if it were me on the other end of the phone. I came up with the idea that it would be really cool if I could record what the volunteers get up to in the shop, the reason behind them volunteering at Tenovus Cancer Care and how it has impacted them for the better – we all agreed that this would be a great way to enhance the awareness surrounding volunteering and provide a glimpse to how rewarding volunteering can be.
Having previous experience managing Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premier Rush from my University studies, I found that I was really able to create engaging content from the videos I had recorded. It really allowed me to fully explore these platforms which normally I would find super scary but with a little practice and a few re-touches, I was able to create some super interesting Instagram reels which were all uploaded via the Tenovus Cancer Care Instagram page – everyone loved it, including those from the Marketing Department which I found to be really reassuring that I am able to be creative when I want to be.
I wasn’t finished just yet though… I really wanted to be able to use this opportunity to really highlight to people that having a disability shouldn’t isolate you or stop you from pursuing something you love and are passionate about, this is where Maddie comes in. Maddie is a volunteer at the store I was based in, she’s of a similar age to me and unfortunately suffers from chronic fatigue – an estimated 250,000 people in the UK also suffer from this illness and women are more susceptible to it than men (NICE, 2021). Throughout my work experience journey, I was really able to relate to Maddie, having a chronic illness myself really allowed me to understand her struggles on a deeper level and so, I decided to write a case study on Maddie and her experience here at Tenovus Cancer Care.
I really think this was the icing on the cake that the charity needed, by highlighting that someone who is young and disabled can thrive and push themselves to be the best version of themselves – after liaising with Nicola (PR and Comms Manager at Tenovus Cancer Care), who really helped me improve my case study writing further, it was decided that Maddie’s case study would be posted to the Tenovus Cancer Care Story page, this has yet to be done, however, Maddie did appear on BBC news to showcase that she has not let her disability stop her! I find that to be so aspirational and despite only knowing her briefly, I can say I am beyond proud.
Overall, this experience has been beyond amazing, I have not only met incredible people and made friends, I have also been able to improve on myself by pushing myself to the limit. At times I doubted my abilities and put myself down thinking that the content I created wasn’t good enough and this is something I will improve on as I continue my Marketing adventure – despite this, I have received immense positive feedback from those at Tenovus Cancer Care, family, friends and those on Facebook and Instagram who have seen the content published and this has definitely given me the confidence boost I needed.
This experience has really allowed me to expand my skills, especially self-motivation, communication, and leadership, all of which will benefit me greatly as I continue my journey.
Until we meet again… Zena M
Statista, 2023. Distribution of Instagram users worldwide as of January 2023 by age group. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/325587/instagram-global-age-group/ [Accessed: 1st May 2023]
NVCO, 2021. UK civil society almanac 2021. Available at: https://www.ncvo.org.uk/news-and-insights/news-index/uk-civil-society-almanac-2021/volunteering/what-are-the-demographics-of-volunteers/#/ [Accessed: 28th April 2023]
NICE, 2021. Myalgia encephalomyelitis (or encephalopathy)/chronic fatigue syndrome: diagnosis and management. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance [Accessed: 1st May 2023]
Mantra Care, n.d. Chronic illnesses: Common types and therapies. Available at: https://mantracare.org/therapy/therapy-types/chronic-illness/ [Accessed: 1st May 2023]
Tenovus, 2023. Home. Available at: https://www.tenovuscancercare.org.uk [Accessed: 1st May 2023]
Met Coaches, n.d. The 9 challenges of organising a corporate event and their solutions. Available at: https://www.metcoaches.co.uk/blog/the-9-challenges-of-organising-a-corporate-event-and-their-solutions/ [Accessed: 1st May 2023]
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