Summer jobs are a good way to utilise your free time and make some money over the holidays. I, however, always look for a summer job that will be fun and will help me develop my skills first and foremost. For the past few weeks, I’ve been working as a play worker for Gateshead Council and volunteering at Leonard Cheshire Disability.
My work as a play worker has helped me develop so many skills. I spent my first two weeks on a new scheme called Creative Kidz. I am so happy that I was placed on that scheme as it was so much fun and allowed me to bring a lot of my own ideas to the table. Being a very creative person, I thoroughly enjoyed planning out 10 days worth of art activities within an amazing team. For me, the best part of this job is working with children ranging in age from 5-14 from a variety of different backgrounds. Helping them to develop their skills and complete projects to take home is the most rewarding experience. I am also pleased that I have had the opportunity to work with a group of children with autism, who use AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) and have a variety of sensory needs. This has allowed me to apply knowledge that I have gained from lectures in a practical setting.
In the past, I have voluntarily done play work and so it is a bonus that this time I am being paid. But for me the best bonus, which came to my great surprise, was when one of the area managers offered me a great opportunity. She and one of the centre managers has offered me the opportunity to co-ordinate and implement a new music and movement scheme for parents and toddlers. This opportunity will give me the chance to get some invaluable experience working in a children’s setting- perfect preparation for my future career. It will allow me to utilise skills that I have developed at uni, on placement and at work. And I can’t wait to get stuck in!
My voluntary work is also very rewarding- giving two hours of my week to provide some company and assistance to someone who needs it. I spend this time between two service users, both with neurological difficulties that affect their movement and speech. I enjoy getting to know them as individuals and assisting them in carrying out their hobbies and exploring our shared interest in poetry.
So far, I feel that I have gained a lot from this summer and the remaining weeks can only get better.