I started my work experience at Tender on Monday 11th June 2018. I didn’t know much about the organisation apart from the fact that it was a charity to promote healthy relationships and prevent abusive relationships, so on the first day Cordelia [Tender’s Relationships Officer] had given me 3 DVDs that Tender had made which helped me to see what Tender was about. The all the DVDs had shown some type of abusive relationship, either physically or verbally, and it made me realise that children from a young age should learn and be informed about signs which could help them realise that certain things in any sort of relationship are wrong. I was also given audios which are given to primary school children, along with exercises, so that they could start becoming aware of what is right and wrong in a friendship and how to deal with any unkindness. I think the audios were really age appropriate and could be very beneficial on helping them create truly good friendships. I think these tasks of listening/watching the DVDs and audios gave me an insight of what Tender does to help prevent unhealthy relationships.
On my second day, I developed my organisation skills and learnt how to input data onto a website called Survey Monkey (which I had never used before). I learnt how to input the data from the surveys quickly and efficiently so I had no trouble with that, the surveys I had to used were ones from a primary school and their responses were nice to read because they had learnt what HBV (honour based violence) was and they knew the qualities of a good friend and qualities of a bad friend which shows how smart they all were even at their young age and how quickly they learnt. Tender’s Education Manager, Emily, gave me a list of things to do, such as print of copies of surveys, cut out red rectangles and leaves for workshop activities, etc. Although it sounds boring and easy, it made me develop my skills of keeping track of large quantities of surveys that I had to staple and place them in a neat order, same with the leaves and red flags because they had to be put into sets. This all made me realise how organised I could be and that I could use my skills and organise my messy room at home.
Cordelia took me to a conference on my third day, which was about sexual bullying and having presentations about how to prevent it in primary and secondary schools. Then discussing different aspects such as parents and how they could learn ways to deal with their children doing something that’s not right. I had learnt numerous things such as the fact that loads of work is being done to help prevent abusive relationships, promoting gender equality and LGBT+ at primary and secondary schools. I felt a bit sad because when I was in secondary I didn’t get to experience workshops that promoted these, and during my PSHE days, they wouldn’t go into detail about certain aspect and were vague about these topics. To be honest, the one thing I remember was getting a CHYPS Plus card and condoms that weren’t given to the boys, only the girls. Furthermore, there was a charity called SOLACE where 3 girls in year 9 gave a presentation and they did a little roleplay and it made me realise that boys asking certain questions or boys teasing girls had become normal to me. Even I brush off small comments made (especially because I go to a boy’s school) and I just get told that “You go to an all-boys school, what do you expect?”. I expect and deserve respect is how I’m going to respond from now on. Overall, the conference I attended had made me open my eyes and I hope that once I go back to my sixth form I’ll be able to discuss these topics with the teachers.
On my last and final day, Cordelia asked me to write a blog or create one using a video or pictures or in any way I wanted. So, I decided to write up my experience here at Tender. Firstly, I think everyone here was so kind and welcoming from the first moment I walked into the office, everyone said ‘good morning’ and they all smiled and introduced themselves to me. I couldn’t have asked for a better work experience so I thank everyone in the office for having me for four days because I have learnt a lot in a short space of time, and a special thanks to Cordelia for letting me stick by her side. I hope to keep in contact.