Ally Ross (OT Student from Glasgow Caledonian University) wanted to make the most of her time off between studying and placements, so she reached out to me in the hope to arrange a few days shadowing the OT team at bOunceT.
Cut a long story short, Ally was able to arrange 4 days placement across 2 weeks. Despite this being a ‘rushed’ experience (compared to typical student placements that last up to 10 weeks) Ally tells us in her blog [below] about the value of her time with us.
If you would like to organise your own volunteer work experience and/or student placement [on site in Stirling, remote – or a hybrid of both] we would love to hear from you!
Contact us today – email@example.com
Thank you for your time, Callum (Founder & Lead Occupational Therapist)
Hi, my name is Ally!
As my graduation for Occupational Therapy was fast approaching, I started to think about applying to jobs and what area of practice I would like to go into. I am passionate and have a lot of experiencing working with children and those with a learning disability, so decided that these are the areas of practice I’d like to work in once I graduate. However, I have not yet had a placement within any of these settings so lack the experience, knowledge and understanding of what an OT’s role is within these areas. For this reason, I decided that I would try to organise my own work experience within these areas in order to give me a better opportunity of obtaining a job in this field once I graduate.
I attended a webinar last year which Callum hosted for Glasgow Caledonian University OT students regarding bOunceT, specifically how he set up this social enterprise and the therapeutic use of play [making it purposeful] & the intervention of rebound therapy. Videos were shown of the service users using the trampoline and therapy room – I was so fascinated about their mission to provide fun, meaningful play for children and instantly new that this was something I would be interested in doing. I remembered Callum saying at the end of the webinar that we could contact him anytime to organise a visit if we wanted. So, I decided to take him up on his offer and emailed him to ask for the opportunity to come along to bOunceT and spend even just one day shadowing. Callum was so welcoming towards the idea and offered me 4 days of work experience – also suggesting that I could do more if I wanted – and I was able to start 2 weeks later.
On my first day of work experience I was welcomed straight away by Callum and Eliza. I spent the morning getting to know more about the business by reading documents and files and, of course, asking Callum lots of questions. Then I got to start shadowing and participating in therapeutic play sessions which, I have to say, I was looking forward to the most. I was able to participate in multiple sessions over the 4 days which all varied widely. One of the sessions was providing rebound therapy within a specialist ASD school which I found really interesting.
I very much enjoyed all the sessions and having to think of engaging games to play whilst having fun on the trampoline. One afternoon, Callum and I visited Sharon from Chattersense, where we discussed sensory integration and if I would be able to complete some work experience with her. She agreed to this and the potential of me to complete some sensory integration training with her.
Lastly, I was able to complete bOunceT’s new Purposeful Play (their new online CPD training) that Callum and other colleagues developed recently. I found it really useful and acknowledged that it will be a great resource for families, carers & other students/staff in this field.
Being able to have fun whilst working is definitely something I would love to do once I graduate, however, I just did not think it would be possible! bOunceT shows that it is!
I feel like I managed to learn and achieve so much in those 4 days at bOunceT. I believe I was a lot more confident and less anxious compared to a standard placement as there was not the same ‘expectations’ or anxieties linked to a traditional placement experience where you know you will be formally graded/assessed. I didn’t have to meet any outcomes, I just got to do what I thought would be beneficial for me and my learning and development.
I would highly recommend that students consider organising their own work experience or volunteering opportunities as it will allow them to develop much needed knowledge, skills, and experience in the areas of practice they are lacking.
It is also great for networking as I now have Callum as a contact for any future queries I may have about OT… and of course the opportunity to participate in further training with bOunceT and Chattersense!