Placement story, volunteering at a criminal justice charity

Georgia Gould chats about her Social Sciences placement with OnlyConnect

I spent a year volunteering as a support worker at OnlyConnect (OC), a criminal justice charity based in London. OC works with people with recent experiences of the criminal justice system and offers services and projects both in prison and the community to empower members to progress with their goals and reduce criminal activity. I am really thankful to OC for having me as part of their team and letting me explore the support worker role.

There were lots of opportunities to contribute to OC’s work when I had been integrated into the organisational structure, as well as for my own personal development. I now have a strengthened ability to build and maintain professional relationships and the confidence to challenge behaviour.

I have better understanding of the common barriers faced when supporting young people/adults; and have gained the skills to encourage and support individuals to develop and overcome those barriers. As well as skills that are connected to the role, I have gained invaluable skills that can be useful in many professional environments and work places.

When I leave university, I will have the advantage of work experience when it comes to looking for a job. The work placement has opened up doors for me to pursue a career in this field and showed me how many different roles there are to choose from. It was beneficial because it revealed that there are some roles that would be suited to me and others that may not.

There are so many benefits of the placement year but the two most significant to me is meeting people that I would never have met otherwise and the recharge it has given me; a positive and open mindset to jump back into Criminology and Criminal Justice to improve that final grade. It has made me eager to learn more and progress.

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