Time4Me is a non-profit organisation in Croydon that provides a range of counselling and therapy services for children, young people and their families.

As a 17 year old student work experience is a compulsory part of Year 12 at sixth form. This can at times be a draining and boring experience. However, I chose to do mine at Time4Me so my experience was far from boring. As I take psychology at AS and plan to continue it on at A2 and maybe even at degree level, working at Time4Me gave me a useful insight into careers and jobs available in relation to psychology.

I began my work experience alongside volunteers and members of staff at an Induction day, in which the safeguarding policies at Time4Me were introduced and explained to ensure the safety of staff and clients. The induction was informative and insightful of the lengths that Time4Me goes through to create a safe and secure environment in order to protect the wellbeing of everyone at Time4Me.

On my second day, I helped with the social media sites that Time4me uses. I put forward ideas and improvement that could be made to the layout of the Time4Me website, Facebook and Twitter and new features that could be added. This was an important and interesting task as social media is an interactive way for Time4Me to stay in touch and up to date with current clients, potential new ones and members of the Croydon community. It also allowed me to view and work with social media in a professional and not just personal way, which in our modern society is a very useful skill to have.

My third day was the most interesting and the most memorable as I attended a Mental Health forum at the Croydon Voluntary Action centre. This was an intense and emotional experience as I saw first-hand the impact of those affected by mental health in a community. The forum was attended by people in the Croydon community suffering from mental health issues, their family members, medical professionals (such as nurses) and groups/organisations like Time4Me working in Croydon. A group that stood out at the forum was ‘Know My Mind’.

‘Know My Mind’ is a community group in London that raises awareness about mental health issues from the perspective of the service users and carers. ‘Know My Mind’ was the only group to give a presentation at the forum, the group shared their personal experience with mental health which was incredibly touching and moving to listen to. The group also spoke about the theatre performance that they have produced called “So U Think I’m Crazy”. “So U Think I’m Crazy” is performed by members of ‘Know My Mind’ and explores the issues surrounding the mental health system in Britain today, through the eyes of a young black man by using rap, poetry and dance. The performance has received many positive responses and is a very interesting way of raising awareness as it is encaging for a large audience.

My last few days at Time4Me were spent doing office tasks that gave me a view into the work that goes into running a non-profit organisation. Aside from the counselling and therapy work, there is a lot of work that Time4Me does that is very similar to a business. For example, Time4Me has a board of directors to ensure that funds are being used wisely and to make sure that Time4Me is constantly moving forward and improving its services. While at Time4Me I helped with the annual report by filling in data onto spreadsheets so that the years’ work was clearly organised and documented.

Overall my experience at Time4Me has been pleasurable and I would encourage anyone to get in touch with Time4Me as it is a lovely and welcoming organisation, whether it’s or volunteer or seek help.

For more information please contact Julia.