In June, Thomas Mills High School student, Martha, spent a week with the hospice’s Marketing and Communications department, as part of her Year 10 Work Experience:
“I am Martha, a student in Year 10 at Thomas Mills High School and I have chosen to do my work experience at Suffolk charity, St Elizabeth Hospice to gain more understanding about the work they do for the local community.
“Throughout the week I will be working with the Marketing and Communications team, which will hopefully introduce me to a different side of marketing and what is involved in the process.
“As a student who enjoys subjects such as English and Business, working at the hospice will help me gain an understanding into a new world of work and give me the opportunity to learn new skills such as writing a blog.
“I hope that over the course of the week I can meet new people and work with them to learn about the hospice and maybe offer some ideas to the team.”
“Today, I arrived at the hospice for my work experience and was met by Lynda Mills who showed me around the hospice and introduced me to the health and safety procedures.
“I also met Simon, who works in the Marketing and Communications team, who told me about what it is like to work in the team and outlined what I would be involved with over the course of the week.
“Today, I was taking pictures of the hospice garden and pond and the hospice’s ‘Moments’ coffee shop. I was able to learn how to use the camera and to learn more about life at the hospice and the wider community.
“I met a number of volunteers in the shop, who were preparing drinks and coffee for the coffee shop customers, sorting clothes in the retail shop and serving customers.
“After lunch, I sorted through the photos I had taken to choose the ones I liked for the team to use in their marketing materials. I picked ones that best caught the sunny garden and the smiling faces of the volunteers. I also started writing my hospice blog which you are reading now.”
“Today, I sat in on a meeting about fundraising, where different people from a variety of departments shared updates and achievements from the beginning of the year, and particularly the Big Hoot events which have been taking place.
“I had an opportunity to read thank you cards from families who the hospice had helped and supported, and how these made members of staff feel. Many said that it reminds them of the important work they do and how it helps those around them.
“These personal stories are key to helping people understand the range of things the hospice can do. I could see how closely everybody works to keep the charity running. In the afternoon, I spent some time looking at how the social media accounts are run, and the most effective ways of advertising to ensure as many people as possible see the post.”
“On Wednesday, I met Ken from the marketing team, and went to the Ipswich waterfront to capture pictures and clips of the Hoots there for social media. Walking around, there were lots of people engaging with the owls and taking pictures with them.
“I think that the art trails do make a difference in the community, and encourage conversation between strangers. Ken explained the planning that has gone into the art trail.
“I also met James, who took me to the Zest shop to take some more photographs and capture the bright atmosphere. We spoke about how the Zest shop makes link with the hospice to younger people, and is important for providing activities such as Zest Days.”
“Using the photos I took on Wednesday, I did an Instagram takeover, where I posted my images of the Hoot Trail to the Instagram stories. Ken explained that this was important for keeping people engaged in the content, as it displayed a new voice on the social media accounts.
“I tried to ensure it was interesting, by putting in my opinions, to keep people engaged with the trail. I looked at how the Big Hoot app works. In the afternoon, I edited the ‘Selfie-Saturday’ video together using I-movie to put the images in an interesting order, add some music and make the video as fun as possible.”
“To see what other work the hospice does in the community, I visited the monthly Zest music therapy group. Using the camera, I took photos of the young adults listening to and making their own music, laughing with their families and carers.
“It was a really uplifting experience to see everybody having fun, and I took some photos. I wrote up an article about the Zest group, summarising what they do for the community, how the young adults feel about it and how it is funded.
“Over the course of this week, I have learned about the personal connections that marketing allows the hospice to make with its audience. Whether that be a personal story, or a fun photograph, it allows people to see the many sides of St Elizabeth Hospice.
“It has definitely changed my perception of what marketing involves, but also shown me more about the crucial care they provide here. I have really loved being with the people, and particularly taking photos. I have loved working with the marketing team and getting involved with life at the hospice.”