My first day began with an offer of a cuppa to sip whilst Jude broke down the ins and outs of the organisation and got me started with some tasks. The tea, due to my nervous giddiness, was left to go cold, but soon I felt confident and secure that I was going to have a brilliant and rewarding time at Tender.
My main task for day one, with fellow intern Jess, was to get down and arty and make some ribbon award medals for the forward visioning day that was due for the next day. Jude wanted to congratulate each member of the team for their hard work, spreading some love and affection to all the gals involved so that, rejuvenated with compliments, plans for the future and a vegan-ethiopian buffet, Tender could continue with it’s amazing work. Even from that first day I could see that Tender was a company that placed huge value on the respect and care we give each other, in order to unite against something which affects us disproportionately: gender based violence.
On my second day, over a lunch of leftovers, we discussed criticism that we might receive whilst working in the field of gender equality, and the different views and values that many women have surrounding the topic. We discussed the value of disagreements and conversations. It was clear that the women at Tender value discussion and healthy debate, seeing it as a key component of their work in the charity. Jude reiterated the importance of women sticking together, as opposed to turning on each other, through the work that we do. Tender, it is clear, is full of respectful and considerate women that, through their care of each other which filters down to their work in schools, is striving to make the world a nicer place.
Finally a visit from Mary and her tiny Lenny, 2 months old, provoked a see of coos and wonderment at this tiny little human poking his tongue out at us and attempting a little grin. As expected from an office full of empathetic women, little Lenny was welcomed immediate and did a little round of arms to a chorus of comments on how much he had grown. You can’t get a much better symbolisation of human compassion, which it seems runs through the charity. So I’ll leave it at that!