My week: Sam Holloway, work-related training programme manager, Action for Kids

The manager of the work-related training programme at Action for Kids is on a health kick.

- Monday

I live just half a mile from the Action For Kids office in Hornsey, north London, so I usually consider myself lucky that I can walk to work every day, unlike many commuters. But today it's pouring down with rain and I'm forced to dodge the puddles as I go.

When I arrive at work the office is a hub of activity as excitement builds ahead of a local carnival. I get in the mood and help our young people on work experience placements design costumes on the computers. There's none of the stress and strain of a typical Monday, which is a welcome change.

- Tuesday

I catch up with some of the team to iron out any problems faced by our young people on work placements. My former job involved working with children who had emotional and behavioural difficulties. Although there's the odd quarrel here, I'm relieved to hear that everyone is progressing well.

The second half of the day is spent struggling with our new electronic database. Our IT manager comes to my rescue and makes it look so easy - thank goodness he's sitting so close by.

- Wednesday

I work with the rest of the team planning for the autumn term, when we will have a new wave of students. It may be three months away, but it can be a real challenge fitting our outreach service in with school schedules.

I grab a sandwich and have lunch at my desk - there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day to plan it all. Part of my new health kick is better eating and living, and this includes giving up smoking, of course. Despite a couple of wobbles, I've been nicotine-free for five weeks now and, with the support of the team, I'm determined to give up for good.

It also means that I'm saving a fortune and can afford to go back to university part-time later in the year to do another diploma.

- Friday

We're running a campaign with the local supermarket, and today a group of young people bring back more than £100 from collection tins left at checkouts. They're elated that they've been able to help raise money for the charity - more than that, they're engaging with the community, which helps with their confidence and independence.

From struggling to get a 'hello' out, some of them are now laughing and telling jokes - I tell myself that these are the real perks of the job.

- Action For Kids' work-related learning programme helps young disabled people develop transferable skills.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus