Since hearing of Tender almost three years ago I have been a member of the Tender youth board, helped with fundraising, projects, events and trained with Tender as one of their peer mentors and youth facilitators. However, never before have I volunteered in the office for an extended period of time…until now!
My first day at Tender could not have been a better reflection of the incredible charity and the amazing team behind it.
Although I was already familiar with a lot of Tender’s work my first task was to do some more research into the charity itself; if I was going to be working for them I had to be sure about what they do and why. So, I was given a pack containing an introduction to the charity, two of Tender’s own films and left to get on with it.
In those first few hours at the office I was surprised that three years on I could still learn statistics I hadn’t known before that newly horrified me, but also reminded me why Tender’s work is so important. Less surprising was that Tender’s film ‘Jess’ left me feeling like I’d been punched in the gut and tears in my eyes; for me drama and film is the most powerful way to convey and create emotion.
Now you’re probably thinking that this sounds like an awful first morning at the office, but actually I really valued being reminded that domestic abuse IS a terrifying issue which can be extremely harrowing. Plus I’ve always been a huge cry baby anyway.
The rest of the day was far more uplifting; luckily for me I had chosen to come in on the day of the final Bake Off at the office, and it was chocolate week!!! So come lunchtime the entire team laid their work aside and left their desks to sit around the office table so that the tasting could begin. Whilst we were nibbling cautiously (in fear of throwing up) on the multiple cakes, truffles, cookies and mousse it was obvious that only the loveliest, funniest, good-natured people were allowed to work at Tender, and so our chocolatey feast was full of chatting, laughter and a great atmosphere of friendship within the office.
The rest of the day was mostly uneventful; I was given a few tasks to help prepare for a training day coming up the week after which I was actually attending. My tasks were simple, but they were directly setting me and several others up for a great day of workshop leader training.
And that was it, my first day! In my few hours at the office I had already expanded my knowledge on the issue of domestic abuse, cried, laughed, almost thrown up, and hopefully set up a brighter future for myself and many others. Who knows what more is to come in the next few months, and I can’t wait to find out!
Written by Tender Intern Kaleya Baxe.