I first became interested in Healthbox when they attended one of our seminars in first year and discussed volunteering opportunities for students. I was attracted to their wide range of community based workshops and services, particularly those within schools. I immediately knew I wanted to spend my five week Work Based Learning placement at Healthbox and, after applying, was delighted to be offered a place, along with three other students.
On the first day we were tasked with planning and promoting a Live Local, Work Local event for the following week. Working as a team, we came up with various ideas, including fun children’s activities, health promotion games, smoothie bikes, goodie bags and free food, including our tried and tested healthy chocolate energy bites! The event was enjoyable and most importantly a success.
During my placement at Healthbox I attended a few falls prevention classes; which usually attract people over the age of 60. The classes consist of an exercise session, followed by a short workshop on related topics such as the benefits of exercise and nutrition. We were given the opportunity to plan and deliver one of the workshops on nutrition, which not only enhanced my presentation skills, but also gave a good insight into producing content that is understandable and relatable to the audience. This was a valuable skill I enhanced during my time at Healthbox, especially as we are encouraged to be scientific throughout university.
As part of the Wellbeing High Street project I attended Trinity church in Ellesmere Port, where once a week a host of community services come together and engage with locals through a coffee morning. I worked with the Pop Up Cookery, making affordable, healthier meals made with typical food items that people may get from the food bank and encouraged them to taste and make it themselves. It was great to interact with everyone, and see how everyone benefits from this project. In the first week, I was chatting to people about the Live Local, Work Local event. The following week I returned to Trinity church and was so happy to hear that one person I encouraged to come along to the event managed to get a job, it was brilliant to see his enthusiasm and excitement. It is great to have all these local community services, and how just talking to people can influence them and their lives.
I was delighted to be given the opportunity to attend an oral health workshop in one of the local schools, especially as my ambition was to work with children and teach them a healthy lifestyle from a young age. I enjoyed the school visits and seeing the positive impact these sessions have on children.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my five week placement with Healthbox. I have gained excellent, first-hand experience on a variety of projects which has confirmed my desire to work in a public health setting. Although my ambition is to work with children, I have also discovered a passion for working with people from a lower SES background, and in the future I would love to combine them both. Without volunteering at Healthbox, this is not something I would have considered.
Thank you to the lovely team at Healthbox, I have enjoyed every day of my placement and would love to carry on volunteering with you.