My internship with the Young and Young Adult Carers Team
Thanks to support from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, Carers Trust is able to run an Internship Programme for young adult carers. The programme aims to offer young adult carers with meaningful work and experience that gets them on the career ladder and helps them develop the skills they can take forward into their working lives.
Hi! My name is Louisa and I am coming to the end of my internship at Carers Trust. I have been part of the Young and Young Adult Carers Team working on my own project within a bigger project called Making Carers Count.
Going into the internship, I had no idea what to expect! I am about to go into my second year of university studying paediatric nursing, and all of my previous jobs have been very practical. I have worked as a disability gymnastics coach, personal assistant for families with children with disabilities, and a 1:1 SEN teaching assistant. Doing the internship working from home was very different from everything I have done previously so I wasn’t sure how easily I would be able to adapt, but I have demonstrated to myself that I am able to a less hands-on job which I wouldn’t have known about myself if I hadn’t done the internship!
I wouldn’t say I am the most confident person usually, but I decided to use the internship as an opportunity to prove I can be confident. I have been provided with endless opportunities to practice this, and although it was slightly daunting at times, I can definitely say my confidence has improved! I have spoken on Zoom meetings with network partners and explained what my project entails, participated in a public speaking workshop, and I have taken an opportunity to speak at my local carers centre’s AGM at the end of this month, which is something I never anticipated I would be able to say yes to!
Growing up as a young carer, I have always been massively passionate about improving the support for young carers, particularly in schools. Up until the internship I always felt like I was the only person who cared about this because none of my friends understood as they had never been a young carer. It has been so refreshing to be in a team in a work environment where everyone is equally passionate about supporting young and young adult carers – it’s so motivating, and having this shared passion is something I will be looking for in my future workplaces.
A standout opportunity I wasn’t expecting to have was attending the Scottish Young Carers Festival at the beginning of August. It was incredible to see so many young carers enjoying spending time together and having some much needed respite. I felt very fortunate to see this event from the other side as I could see how much work went into making things run smoothly, but I could also see the enthusiasm and how the focus was purely on making sure the young carers had the best time possible. Knowing that there are people who care so much about creating opportunities and memories for young carers fills me with optimism for young and young adult carers’ futures and I’m proud to have worked for an organisation who massively contributes to this!
Although I have really enjoyed my time at Carers Trust, I knew it was only a 12 week internship, meaning I needed to think about what is going to come next. While I still have 3 years left of my integrated masters degree, I know that I will be a qualified paediatric nurse before I know it! The staff at Carers Trust have been so encouraging when I have had conversations about using my internship experience in jobs applications and interviews – this just adds to the feeling of being in a supportive work environment surrounded by people who care, and it has really highlighted how the skills I have gained are transferrable and how they can prepare me for my future career!