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about 1 month ago by Sam Jones

Sam's Penultimate Blog

Canva   Person Writing On Notebook Next To Laptop

It is now a fairly quiet Tuesday morning, after the Monday night chaos of sorting out payroll and making sure everyone has their correct hours on record and the other departments within Meridian have everything they need. It’s crazy to think that in less than two weeks’ time, my internship will be over! It has gone incredibly quickly. I can’t begin to thank the staff at Change100 enough for setting me up with this opportunity, and of course, everyone at Meridian who has made this not only possible, but one of the most memorable experiences in my life. My final job is now to just enjoy every last minute of this last 8 days on the job before I go back to university to complete my degree.

Speaking of Change100, last week I was heavily involved with them in a couple of different ways. First of all, August’s Professional Development Sessions were on last week, and despite being too busy with other virtual training and such, I made sure to make some time to attend the last session of the week on Thursday 20th. I always enjoy the PDS sessions across Zoom, as they are accessible and super user-friendly, and much less daunting than a trip down to London each month, speaking as someone with anxiety. During the sessions, I also got to speak a bit more to some individuals that run the programme, such as Charlie and Victoria within the Change100 team. I had never previously had a conversation with Victoria, who is the Programme Manager of Change100. To have such a friendly and nice chat with someone so high-up was such a pleasant and valuable experience, and again, reinforces what I’m learning more and more: that I (and everyone else) must ALWAYS challenge themselves and keep pushing yourself to do more. In short, I now have another network connection, and allowed myself to properly introduce and get to know someone with lots of expertise and many years of experience.

One thing that allowed me to speak so much to Charlie and Victoria that day was my experience of the previous day, in which I spent the morning filming an interview for Leonard Cheshire and Meridian, to further promote the idea of disability confidence. The aim was to show how easy and important it is that more employers follow in Meridian’s footsteps in not viewing mental and physical conditions as disabilities and problems, and more as something to learn from to help their business. It is always a little bit daunting sitting in front of a camera and speaking, but Emma (the interviewer from Leonard Cheshire), was super friendly and genuinely was interested in me and my life, which made chatting and sharing my experience much easier. Not only have I made another connection, and another achievement for me whilst I am here, but I have managed to explicitly give something back to those who have given so much for me. My only hope is that Meridian and Leonard Cheshire, and those on the Change100 team, get some good use from that video and it helps out future people who were in similar positions to me not long ago.

I am going to carry on enjoying the rest of my time here, but in the meantime, I hope this blog continues to stress to people that ANYONE can do ANYTHING if you push yourself.