Christmas Update

Hey! Hope you all had a great Christmas.

Because, well… mine was awful. Been stuck in bed with a high fever and some kind of stomach bug. Not ideal. Had been looking forward to spend my Christmas in London but all of my plans and hopes of strolling around in Winter Wonderland, enjoying good food and company and maybe taking a nice walk in Hyde Park on Christmas morning all came crashing down on me. I basically just slept through it all. I’m not fully recovered yet, but getting there, so no need to worry! I’m just extremely bummed. Anyway, enough with the moping.

I’ll tell you about something fun, though! The last day before the Christmas Holidays we arranged a Christmas Party for the families that use or has been using our services at the charity. We spent all morning decorating the venue with Christmas trees, glitter, lights and we even created a “Santa’s Grotto”, where the children got a chance to meet Santa and receive a present. Speaking of the presents – we had some amaaazing toys donated to us by different companies who wanted to support us. And when I say amazing, I mean A-MA-ZING. And many, almost two hundred!! So, as you can imagine, there was also a lot of wrapping going on (five hours straight to be exact).

Almost a hundred families and nearly 150 children showed up, the party was a success! Oh, I forgot to tell you…  I was dressed up at Santa’s Elf. That’s right, with green tights and boots and everything. My main task was to manage the queue to Santa’s Grotto, a queue which consisted of over a hundred overly excited children. Busy, busy, busy. It was good fun, though. Seeing the look on their precious little faces when they opened the presents was priceless.

I’m glad I still have two weeks left of my internship after the Holidays before I have to go back home. St Vincent’s Family Project has become so much more than an internship to me. It has basically been like my second home here in London. It’s going to be an emotional last couple of weeks, that’s for sure.

Thoughts

One of the things I like the most about the charity where I’m doing my internship is that both the staff and the families that use our services are all from different parts of the world. This really makes us an interesting bunch of people. We all learn from each other. Every day. I’ve learnt so much about different cultures and religions. I’ve tasted food that I didn’t even know existed. I’ve been a part of interesting discussions, been told eye opening stories. This whole thing has made me grow as a person and I’m so, so, so happy that I decided to do this.

Ugh, I’m getting a bit emotional. Probably because I booked my flight home yesterday and I’m sooo not ready to go home. Not yet. I have six weeks left of my internship but I would stay much longer if I could. What I’ll be missing the most are the children. How am I supposed to accept the fact that I probably won’t ever see them again? I’ve been with them almost every day since September. I’ve held them when they’ve cried, laughed along with them, seen their progress right before my eyes. And then I’m just supposed to leave?? Not fair.

Anywayyy, I’m going to try my best to make the most of the time that’s left. I’m sure that won’t be too difficult, since London is pure magic in December, with all the lights and decorations. I’ve never felt more Christmassy and I’m loooving it.

Take care, everyone!

First post

Hello!

Before I get started with this, let me quickly introduce myself. My name is Rebecca, I’m 21 years old and a Social Work student. I’m currently living the London Life (still sounds a bit too good to be true) and have been doing so for the last two and a half months. It’s weird how fast time has passed by since I got here… like everything is on fast forward. Still, looking back, I can’t believe how much I’ve experienced in the last couple of months. Like for example, trying to find a place to live. Yep.. That’s right, I arrived to London without having an accommodation sorted out (which was nerve-racking to say the least). Had to stay in a dorm at a hostel before I was lucky enough to meet some girls who were in the same situation as me and was looking for a third person for the flat they’d just found. So I moved in with them.

Since then I’ve been busy strolling around London trying to find my way around, meeting new people, made new friends, discovering hidden gems, been to concerts, pubs, clubs and while doing all of this… completely falling in love with this city. So yes, things have been quite intense. But so much fun.

Why am I here? Well, let me tell you a bit about it. I am doing my internship at an organisation called St. Vincent’s Family Project, which is a small charity in Westminster that supports parents and vulnerable families. SVFP is offering services such as parenting classes, alternative therapies, drop in center, speech and language therapy for children, healthy living classes, one-to-one sessions, just to name a few. So yeah, there is a lot going on. I spend most of my time in Family Space, which means I help out with a lot of the face-to-face work with the families. My role is to be a support to both parents and children, to be someone they feel they can rely on. For example, I help out in the Drop in, where parents can drop off their children for two hours to be able to attend the courses and/or the therapy sessions. The families all come from different backgrounds and have different types of needs, so I always have to make sure I meet those needs in the right way.

I also spend some time in the office, helping out with some of the administrative tasks. Which is something that, to be honest, is not at all as much fun as the direct work I do with the families (because I’m not at all an office kind of person) BUT it’s still necessary because it gives me a more holistic view of how a charity is managed.

Well, there you have it. My first blog post *yay!!*. I’ll keep you updated!