My Week: Hamdi Khalif

The participant in the National Children's Bureau's Skills Development Programme recounts her week

MONDAY - It's week eight of my 10-week Skills Development Programme at the NCB. As part of the programme, I'm doing a placement in the press office at the Alzheimer's Society.

I studied biochemistry at university and hope to become a medical writer. My day begins skimming national newspapers for coverage of dementia. Today, there seems to be a debate about the efficiency of anti-psychotic drugs to treat dementia and new scientific research that claims to have found the cure for ageing through the regrowth of brain cells.

It's all very interesting, but somebody has to share these stories with the rest of the organisation, and that someone is me. So it's on to sending out a mass email to the rest of the team.

TUESDAY - I get down to categorising any news clippings mentioning the Alzheimer's Society. There are always a lot, thanks to the efforts of the charity's news team.

One of the best parts of the placement is working with people of different ages. I was concerned that I might not fit in, but you always seem to find common ground.

WEDNESDAY - It's time to speak to the family members of those living with dementia to get their stories for possible case studies. The phone calls are often saddening yet hopeful. The volunteers are passionate about drawing attention to the difficulties facing not only the person living with dementia but also their carers.

Today's newspapers are full of stories about the high levels of youth unemployment. Finding work is almost impossible and there's nothing worse than sitting at home doing nothing. I'm just glad that I'm learning new skills.

THURSDAY - It's my first day off of the week and I get to have a lie in. Yippee. But I shouldn't get too excited because I have job applications to complete and a covering letter to write. Oh, the joy of summing up my skills, passions and achievements all on one page. But it has to be done.

The National Children's Bureau is a membership charity for children's organisations. It represents their interests at a national level.

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