My Work Experience Day – extracts from Rebekah’s report

Tuesday 16 November
Rebekah at The Leprosy Mission offices in PeterboroughI went with my Dad to The Leprosy Mission in Peterborough. My Dad’s the programmes funding officer and he  prepares funding applications, presentations to potential trust and institutional donors, writes feedback and visits projects overseas.

My Day at the Office
Morning. Dad showed me round the office, introducing the staff. Then we went to morning prayers.  After that I watched some DVDs about leprosy.  I learned about the myths that leprosy is caused by sin and contracted by touch.  Leprosy is a bacterium, an airborne disease. 

Next, I helped Marie with the website. I scanned & cropped images (harder than it sounds!) and then edited reports and added them to the website. I particularly enjoyed this. Eventually Dad and I got to lunch!

Afternoon.  I helped Dad update the database, as a person had donated £200. I then interviewed Louise, trust & corporate relations officer, asking her about her work and skills needed:
‘We don’t have a typical day.  I need persuasive skills to encourage donations; communication skills to deal with people in foreign countries; numerical skills for writing budgets and empathy & listening skills.’  Louise really likes travelling – meeting people, understanding how they live and seeing how the projects help them.

Finally, I watched Dad’s PowerPoint presentation for a trust donor, and we printed off the first five slides. Unfortunately at 4pm I had to leave early for a piano lesson. 

Some of my Learning Points:
• About Charitable Trusts. That a donor is a person who gives money to a charity or organisation
• Leprosy is a mildly infectious bacterial disease, curable with MDT (multidrug therapy-three powerful antibiotics). One new case is diagnosed every two minutes
• It is mainly found in developing countries where poverty is rife
• Stigma is a big problem – people are frightened to come forward for treatment because of fear of discrimination
• Disability and deformity can be avoided with early diagnosis
The day was very interesting and I have learned a lot. I would certainly recommend it for future students, as it gives you an idea of what the world of work is really like. I found that it was very enjoyable too.

Joyful carol singing brightened up a rainy day

Pupils and teachers of St John’s Church School in Peterborough were carol singing their way to people’s hearts in the Orton Gate shopping centre today.  The whole school joined in – that’s about 200 people singing their hearts out for The Leprosy Mission!  Headmistress Collete Firth wanted to reach out into the local community by doing something for people other than themselves and decided to donate the proceeds of their collection to The Leprosy Mission as we are also based in Peterborough.

The school were invited to turn on the Christmas lights. They sang all-time favourites such as ‘Away in a manger’, ‘Jingle Bell Rock’, ‘The Calypso Carol’ along with other traditional favourites.

World Leprosy DayThe school will present the money they’ve collected when our local Area Co-ordinator Mike, visits the school at the time of World Leprosy Day, in the last week of January, to talk about our work. 

Huge thanks to all the staff and pupils for thinking of people affected by leprosy and for braving the rainy weather to sing to the shoppers.  We’re sure it must have brightened up their day!