Georgie’s first month as an HSA intern

01 November 2016

Georgie Ralphs, our new intern tells us about some highlights of her first few weeks in her very first blog.

This has been a really exciting month for me because I started my internship with HSA.

My first month… some highlights!

This has been a really exciting month for me because I started my internship with HSA. Moving into the world of work has been challenging as I find change quite difficult. But, with Gill’s support, I am learning and becoming more confident in my role and that is helping me feel more at home with what I am doing. Definitely need to learn a bit more about managing my time, not panicking and asking for help when I need it! Having said that, I am looking forward with great excitement to the next bit of my adventure.

One of the things that I know has really helped me to deal with change is my one-page profile. I sometimes find it hard to explain what I am stressed or anxious about but my one-page profile lets others know how to support me in the best way. I used my experience first-hand at a visit with Gill Goodwin to Clare Mount Specialist Sports College. At Clare Mount College, I met with the staff to talk about the Person-Centred booklets which they use with the students. We reviewed one there together with a staff member and then I took another 3 booklets away with me. I have reviewed them and gave feedback about what is good, what could be improved and what could be added to make the booklets even better. The staff were very impressed with how inspiring I am and how I could help the young people with learning disabilities. So, I found out that I will be coming back to Clare Mount Specialist Sports College to talk the young people with learning disabilities and the staff about One Page Profiles. I am very excited about this and I cannot wait to go back there.

Overall, I had an excellent day at Clare Mount Specialist Sports College. I have learnt what does a Person-Centred plan mean how to review booklets. I am looking forward to coming back to speak to staff and students next year.

 

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I went to my second Young People’s National Advisory Group meeting in London. I went there all by myself and I felt very confident and positive. I also had a discussion with Joanna who is a staff member for the Young People’s National Advisory Group and it went really well. I spoke to her about lots of things like the fact that I know a lot about One Page Profiles and many more. Joanna was very impressed when I told her and she said to me that I would be very helpful to the Young People’s National Advisory Group. 

 

Introduction

Firstly, my Young People’s National Young People’s Advisory Group and I did an introduction game called Truths and Lies. This was an interesting game because we had to get to know the young people and staff in the group. We had to think of two truths and one lie. This was quite a challenge for me because I was put on the spot and we did not have that much time. The truths were the easy part, but the lie was the difficult part.

After that, me and the rest of the group all said our two truths and our one lie. I was very fascinated to hear everyone’s truths and lies. Overall, the introduction game was enjoyable and exceptional.

 

The Social Model of disability

As a group, we talked about how disabled people have worked together to create a way of thinking to challenge non-disabled people’s attitudes towards disability. This way of thinking was called The Social Model and it was based on disabled people’s real life experiences.

Firstly, I did not know what The Social Model of disability was and neither did the rest of the group. However, when I got told what The Social Model of disability was, it all made sense and I understood it completely.

Lastly, a disabled woman came and spoke to the group about the history of The Social Model of disability. There was loads of fascinating facts about it and the young people who are in the National Advisory Group asked questions and gave their opinions about it because they wanted to know more about it.

 

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Overall, I have really enjoyed listening to the person who came and spoke to us about The Social Model of disability and I have enjoyed listening to the other young people’s questions and opinions who are in the National Advisory Group.

 

Planning the 2nd Participation Conference

As a group, the staff wanted me and the young people’s help to plan a workshop that looks at helping professionals to properly include disabled children and young people in their Education, Health and Care plan meetings.

The young people in the group and I were put into three different groups to help plan a workshop that looks at helping professionals to properly include disabled children and young people in their EHC (Educational, Health and Care) plan meetings.

In each of the three groups, we were given two different sayings. One was from a young person with a learning disability and the other was from a staff member at school/college. This was a bit of a challenge for me because I could not remember what was included in the EHC plan and I have not seen an EHC plan in a long time. My group and I made a very detailed plan, which were created into a mind map. The other groups also made very detailed plans, which were created into mind maps. Overall, it was a good idea to create plans for our next conference because it will be very useful for my Internship and it will also be useful for when I do my first conference with the young people in my National Advisory Group.

  

Social Media Drive

My group and I discussed about what does Social Media Drive mean. I did not have a clue what it meant, but in my head I had a good idea that this might be to write Tweets and Facebook posts to get our message across, but I did not want to say out to the rest of my group because I was a bit shy and nervous of the fact that I might get it wrong. When I eventually got told what does Social Media Drive mean, it all made sense!

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Overall, I have learnt what does Social Media Drive mean, using social media can be helpful to share our messages, the professionals we want to share our messages with and how to write great Tweets and posts to get our messages across.

 

Developing our Social Media Messages

The young people in the group and I were put into three different groups to focus on Education, Health and Care plans and to focus on deciding what specific messages should be.

In each of the three groups, we were given different three key objectives. They were:

  • Support to communicate in the best way for me.
  • Ambitions and goals.
  • Feel free to be by myself.

A woman made us a tree poster with lots of words to help us think about what to include in our mind maps.

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In the three groups, we had to write the pros and cons for our key objective. This was a bit of a challenge for me because I could not remember what was included in the EHC plan and I have not seen an EHC plan in a long time. I did think of a pro and a con, but someone else in my group said it. My group and I made a very detailed plan, which were created into a mind map. The other groups also made very detailed plans, which were created into mind maps. Overall, it was a good idea to create mind maps for each of the key objectives so that this will help us to get our messages across onto the Social Media like Facebook and Twitter. It will be very useful for my Internship and in general life.

 

Finalising what to say

One of the staff members of my group made us a poster with lots of top tips and questions to help us think about what to write Facebook posts and Tweets for the Social Media Drive that we will be using in November 2016.

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I have already created my own Facebook post and my Tweet post for the Social Media Drive, which I have included in my Internship. Here is a photo below of my Facebook post and my Tweet post:

Overall, I had an awesome day at Council for Disabled Children – National Advisory Group meeting. I was really happy to see everyone again and I have learnt so much from this meeting! I cannot wait to for the conferences that I will be doing soon and I cannot wait for the next meeting in November!

 

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