I am a couple of months into my Phase job and the time has flown by. I am working in the office supporting with admin and comms stuff and generally helping things tick along.
Things I have learned since arriving:
- Phase is super organised and focused on its reason for being here. I have worked in a few small charities and none of them have been quite so efficient. Whilst sometimes it can feel like some of the ‘back office’ functions in a small organisation aren’t the top priority (especially when you are working to meet significant needs in the community) they are so important. Supporting a team to work lightly and without much fuss means Phase can crack on with the good stuff in schools and wider Hitchin. Hurray for excellent admin!!
- Young people are complicated and amazing. OK, so I knew this in theory, but my oldest child is still only 6 so I have limited experience of tweenagers and teenagers. I have had my eyes opened to what challenges and excitements face this generation of young people and I’m thankful that Phase is in Hitchin to support our local young people through it. Hitchin is very lucky to have Phase.
- This office runs on coffee and snacks. I am in heaven. We make up for it by comparing steps on our activity trackers, not that we’re at all competitive.
In a previous life I worked at Age UK which at first sight you’d think couldn’t be further away from Phase, both in size, aims and ‘feel’. I worked on social care policy – generally campaigning to make sure that people who needed help and support in later life were able to access it. There are a few similarities despite looking so different on the face of it.
The first is that community is where the action happens. It’s a bit of a cliché but it is so true. Older people who are well connected tend to age with fewer incidents, and when they do need support it is more easily accessed. It’s the same for young people and families. Phase helps young people connect and provides somewhere to turn to for support.
The second is that resilience is such a critical life skill. Phase talks about resilience in young people – the ability to face challenges without being worn down by them, and sometimes learning how to be tenacious and just grit your teeth through some of the tough times. It’s easier once you’ve weathered a few storms because you gain confidence that you are able to get through them. It’s the same for older people. We used to talk about resilience in a number of ways – in health terms, so facing minor illnesses or a fall, for example, without them being a factor in being less independent, financial resilience – so having savings and income that help you live well in older age. Also emotional resilience – being older has its challenges and it stands to reason that the older you are the more experiences of bereavement or other challenging events have come your way.
Read a recent blog from Phase about resilience here.
It just goes to show that when it comes down to it all humans have the same fears and joys no matter how old or young we are. And also that admin is at the heart of a good support system, but then I would say that.
Give me a shout if you have any questions about Phase comms – I’ll be working on the newsletters and regular mailings that go to our supporters and local school, so if you’ve got any feedback or would like something included then you can contact me at Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org.