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A Day in the Life of a VSK Apprentice

Hi, my name’s Tom and I’m an Apprentice Participation Worker in the Participation Team.  I wanted to tell you all about what I get up to on a typical day at work!

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So, my day starts off like any other. It begins with an annoying alarm telling me it’s time to get up. I do all the usual morning stuff, and then rush out the door to get my train because I’m interviewing potential Foster Carers this morning.

Now, this may not sound the most interesting start of the day but it’s actually pretty great and I really enjoy it because I have an opportunity to get my voice heard.  Although we have a “strict” set of questions to ask we often go on tangents because we find most of the people wanting to be foster carers kind and interesting to talk to. Of course, they’re not all like that, and that is why we’re there, to separate the wheat from the chaff.  These interviews generally don’t last too long and by lunchtime we’re finished (unless we overrun because of all the talking!).

After lunch, I need to get back to our office, as I have activity day permission forms to send out and one of the other Apprentices needs help with their preparation for a big presentation on “Lifelong Links” (a project about making life long connections with people to create a mega support network, which is extremely useful at any age). We essentially get to go back to playschool for the afternoon to do some colouring, sticking and other arty crafts.

Of course, it’s not all gluey hands and coloured paper; every now and then I did have to check my emails for permission forms for our activity day, which I had to put on a spreadsheet (definitely as fun as it sounds I can assure you!). But, it’s only a couple of minutes per permission form so I can pop back to my art work shortly!

After making a few phone calls to Social Workers to see if their young people would like to attend the Young Adult Council, we need to make sure that the venue is booked for our upcoming activity day. Whilst on the phone, I also check that we can go along and complete a risk assessment.

We have a YAC meeting in the evening although it’s not exactly one of our usual meetings where we have a professional visit and hold a discussion or talk about issues that care leavers face.  On this day, we were going bowling, so we made our way to the bowling alley and waited for a short while for our YAC members to arrive. First things first though, once everyone had arrived we ordered food and drinks!

So, after stuffing ourselves with food we moved over to the bowling lanes and began to bowl. Competition was fierce with even one of our own apprentices getting very competitive with numerous strikes to their name.

Overall though, it was a great night and a really fun end to an already good day. All that was left was a wait for a train and a walk to my place where a comfy sofa and a kettle were waiting for me to make a nice cuppa.

by Tom Byrne