A Day in the Life - Alice's Story
A Day at Golddigger Trust
Alice Watts is one of the Girls Project Worker’s here at Golddigger Trust. Alice joined the team in 2017… here’s an glimpse into what she gets up to!
11am Melissa, Naomi and I meet at Springs Academy, armed with lots of snacks and hot chocolate to set up for the I'm the Girl I Want to Be course. Recreating the relaxed, comfortable atmosphere we have at our centre can be difficult in school but with a table cloth, a plethora of fairy lights, ITGIWTB banner and the smell of hot chocolate, the girls can soon forget they are at school, if only for a couple of hours!
This week's session, 'Through the looking Glass', is the first of 8, after having met the group for the first time last week. We explored how they 'tick' through a fun personality test, and then try their hand at fashion designing with posh bin bags and a peg or two! I'm always impressed at the outfits they come out with and their talent for marketing it too! “£10 for a pink/white plastic bag dress, perfect for summer days chilling in the garden” - SOLD!
It’s great to start to get to know a new group of girls, knowing we’ll be firm friends in a few months time! We always find, that by digging through the difficulties and sometimes bad behaviour displayed, there is a young girl with immense potential inside.
1:30pm The session finishes and we head back to GDT HQ for lunch and a de-brief.
2:30pm This week it’s our whole team meeting at Golddigger Trust- this month we explored how we can make our referral process as smooth as possible, especially as we’ve just received a record number of referrals (3x what we were expecting!).
3:30pm I have an 'initial chat' with a girl who has just been referred to us; initial chats are a chance for young people to meet one of the team and have a look around our centre. We explain to them about the support we offer and they have the opportunity to ask questions. This initial introduction helps to take away some of the anxiety caused by coming to a new place and meeting new people; hot chocolate helps too!
4:00pm Back in the girls team office we discuss what everyone is working on today and delegate any tasks that are urgent or phone calls that need to be made. It is usually now that we realise a cup of tea is in order, so put the kettle on. I also have some mentoring notes to finish and a few emails to write as well.
Drop In starts in half an hour and myself and Mel are responsible for cleaning that part of the GDT centre this week, so we head down to dust and vacuum before setting out the activities. Everyone at Golddigger has a cleaning job; presenting a clean space is important to make staff and young people feel valued. To me it's the little things: at GDT we provide sanitary products and deodorant just in case (and a good smelling hand soap)!
4:30pm Tonight's drop in is all about pancakes! We can cook from scratch with Beth's hot plate or use the microwave. We've had a donation of Lego recently, so that’s out for the girls to get creative with, Jenga and colouring is also out for the girls to enjoy while chatting. As a team we all have our particular niche: Hannah is the games master, Naomi loves colouring and telling jokes, and I enjoy bringing creative activities to the room. Melissa, our year out volunteer, is always on hand to make sure the hot chocolate is flowing and she slaved over the hot plate tonight, which we were all grateful for! We had 9 girls come along to drop in this week, and we all had a fab time!
5:45pm We offer 1:1 mentoring slots at drop in and tonight I speak to a girl about how she is coping with anxiety and depression. She is vulnerable but also has an inner strength which I can see. It's a real highlight of my job to speak to young people who have a passion for something, be that art or science, inspiring or consoling others. I feel drop in creates a space of inclusion, you can come and revise, come and chat or just come and laugh but it is a place where you can belong without judgement or pressure to change.
6:30pm The girls leave at 6.30 and the pancakes have made quite a mess, so it’s all hands on deck to clear everything up ready for tomorrow! A quick debrief/write up of notes over soap bubbles and a tea towel, and we are away home just after 7pm!