Posted: 29 May 2013

Helping children and families in the same situation I was in

Hi, I am a 20-year-old student in my second year of university in Nottingham, studying media and journalism. I really enjoy my course because it allows me to be creative, which is something I have always loved.

As part of my studies I was asked to organise some work experience to help me decide what I want to do when I graduate, and learn new skills that will help me when I finish university. I was allowed to choose anywhere that I found interesting and inspiring – I chose a charity called The Children's Society.

I chose them because they help and support children from all backgrounds who are suffering for any reason. They have special teams that know all about the different problems children face whilst they are growing up. They work with the most disadvantaged children to ensure that they are loved, valued and listened to. They fight childhood poverty, harm and neglect. These are things that I support.

Parental substance abuse was part of my life

When I began my work experience, I was really excited to learn more about the work that was being done through the charity. I was especially pleased when I was asked to work on a project called the Stars National Initiative. This project aims to offer support and guidance to families and children affected by drug and alcohol abuse.

When I was a little girl, my dad had trouble with alcohol; he loved it so much that he spent most of his day using it to make him feel good. When I was younger I didn't understand what was happening properly and didn't like to spend time around him.

I thought it was his choice not to stop drinking, and I never realised that even though he tried, he had a problem called addiction which meant it was very hard for him to stop.

‘Making sure that no child has to face addiction in the family alone’

Through working for this project I have been able to see all the hard work that the charity does, trying to help people like me when I was younger. Back then, I didn't have anyone to talk to about my dad, and I only realised what was happening when I grew up.

I think what The Children's Society does today would have helped me a lot when I was younger – I would have been able to talk about my thoughts and feelings because it wasn't something I liked to talk about with my friends. They offer help and advice and would have offered me support so I wouldn't have to cope with the situation on my own.

I love working for The Children's Society because it makes me feel like I am doing something to help children and families in the same situation that I was in.

The people who work on the Stars National Initiative project really want to make sure that no child has to face addiction in the family alone. My work placement with the charity has inspired me to use my own experiences to help others and I enjoy every second of my time here because I know it is for an important cause.

By Alice Apple - Guest bloggers

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