Wednesday, 8 June 2016
Work experience – Izzy’s blog
For the past two days I have worked at Missing People in London. It has provided an insight into what the charity is, what they do, how they do it and how important their service is. We never think that any of what Missing People help with will affect us and my time here has made me realise that this cause is highly underappreciated because we don’t hear about it as much as we should.
I decided to come and work at Missing People because I am looking to do Arabic and Politics/International Relations at university and subsequently going on to work for either a governmental organisation or NGO that helps those who need it, or as a human rights lawyer. These two days have helped me to see more of the NGO side of things and how you can directly and indirectly help others, whether it is in a small or large way.
During my first day, I had an induction into the general aspects and principles of the charity. This helped me to learn key information about the charity that I did not know before. After this, I was able to help the Corporate Partnerships Officer in conducting research into companies that could be possible partners of the charity. This was interesting because the links between the company and the charities I was asked to look up were very clever and it seemed important that these companies became partners in order to fulfil Missing People’s main goal. This is a form of strategic partnership which I had not heard of before but it seems very useful in order to make strong alliances between companies. Finally, I worked with the Communications Team to help schedule tweets on a programme (Hootsuite) on their Runaway Helpline Twitter page, specifically with regards to stress at school. I enjoyed this task because I was able to directly involve myself in sending out public messages by helping people with the information I know and learnt about combatting stress at school.
On the second day, I was able to help the Communications Manager with a specific part of Missing People that concerns the aftercare that is given to a missing person and/or family when the person returns. This was really interesting because the whole idea of aftercare was not something that I expected Missing People to be involved in and therefore was really happy to be helping with this because I think it is very important. Specifically, I was able to find addresses for all the places in Wales (where the Aftercare aspect of Missing People is taking place) where they wanted to send materials that they needed to help with that scheme. I also drafted a letter that would be sent to these addresses along with the materials. During the afternoon, I was introduced to the data base (Raiser’s Edge) that the Fundraising and Communications team use to log all of their corporate or personal partnerships with people that have donated, set up an event or even shown interest in Missing People. This was interesting because it was not something I had come across before and it seems like a really sensible way to keep track of what has happened. I need to start using it to keep up with all the work I am set at school!
Overall, I have found my time at Missing People really valuable because of the skills it has taught me that are vital when someone is working for a charity, like the specific programmes to use and how goals can be achieved. The tasks I was set were interesting and relevant but most of all the people here are lovely. Everybody was welcoming and helped me and it has given me a thoughtful insight into what it would be like to work for a charity and what it requires.
Around 250,000 people go missing in the UK each year. The Missing Blog aims to give a voice to all those affected by this issue.
The charity Missing People is a lifeline when someone disappears. To find out more about Missing People and ways that you can support the charity visit www.missingpeople.org.uk.
Call or txt the charity Missing People for free on 116 000, 24/7 if you or anyone you know is affected by a disappearance.