Self-care and a focus on our wellbeing makes us better colleagues: week three for our research volunteer
30 Jul 2019
My third week at Children in Scotland started off a little differently to the others. I was unwell and had to take the day off sick.
I have to admit I felt a little guilty and also frustrated as I wanted to be at work, however I understood that it was unfair on others in the office and also to myself to be at work.
I realised that if that had been my friends or family, I would have advised them to stay at home, so why should my advice to myself be different?
It’s worryingly obvious that we are all happy to advocate self-care to our peers but then feel ashamed at doing so ourselves, and this is an unhealthy habit.
So, my 'work' for the day included doing a face-mask, sleeping and watching Netflix because sometimes that’s what we need.
The next day I felt refreshed and ready to go.
It was the Changing our World (Children in Scotland’s advisory group) meeting day and I was eager to present my research findings to them.
There was such a great group of children and young people at the event, who were active in discussing their opinions whilst also acknowledging others' opinions. My presentation was a success and I really felt that the group was taking into account my findings, which is a prime example of successful peer to peer youth engagement. The day went amazingly well and I’m really looking forward to seeing the progress of the group!
The day after that was the last meeting of the Young Media Voices group, which was a privilege to attend. The day started off with a tutorial on how to make zines, which was delivered by Brian and Cara from the Edinburgh Zine Library.
It was great to get involved, learn about zines and also make one too! This was actually very therapeutic, and I would fully recommend anyone to give it a go!
The rest of the day was spent reflecting on the work of the group, and the impact of the group soon became apparent. The group made a difference to others but has also done so on a personal level too; developing new skills, building relationships and also getting fantastic opportunities such as visiting the BBC. The group has achieved amazing things and it's a shame that their time is at an end. I really wish the group all the best with their next steps.
In conclusion, my third week working as a Social and Digital Research volunteer at Children in Scotland has taught me a lot. It has taught me the importance of self-care, the detailed planning that goes into events, behind the scenes organisation, the impact work like this has on children and young people and unfortunately the impact of funding cuts too. The youth work sector is so important to Scotland and it is truly valuable to everyone. Once again it has been a privilege to have been able to take a peek behind the curtain.