Month: July 2014

Week two draws to a close…

My second week at St. Anne’s is nearly over, and I feel like I’ve settled in nicely. As I’ve carried out more and more screening I’ve become much more confident with the process, and when explaining the results to service users. The staff have been working really hard to raise awareness of my screening amongst service users and as a result I’ve been pretty busy!

Throughout my time at St. Anne’s, my perception of the homeless and people with alcohol/substance abuse problems has changed dramatically. It’s often difficult to admit that we have prejudices towards these groups, but I’ll put my hands up and say that before I began my project I had always been a bit frightened or suspicious of them.

Week 3: Finalising that server and practicing crossfilter.js and dc.js

In last week’s blog I mentioned that final hurdle for the offline server was to get to the bottom of the disappointingly slow speeds. It took a few days to research around this since no support was found for it on-line. This was not surprising given the specificity of the case and the relatively new service.  That being said, this solution is an exciting prospect for charities such as the Red Cross. In fact, my team had discussed the capability of Formhub with the Medecins sans frontieres (MSF) and the MSF immediately put out a request to developers to get this working- it would enable them to digitally collect data in remote and rural areas making the current process a lot more efficient and scalable.

Placement & Internship Officers on tour….

Helen and I have been really enjoying reading everyone’s blog posts about their Charity Insights experience. We thought it was about time we also added a post to the blog!

Last week we were able to visit Isabelle, Clara and Kristiana to hear about some of the fantastic work they have been doing with their charities.

Our first visit was to Isabelle who has been working for Rethink located in Vauxhall. The office is located on the fifteenth floor of a high rise building nicknamed “Charity Towers” as it hosts many charities including Macmillan and Comic Relief (it even has a charity recruitment agency inside).

Week 1 at RECLAIM

My Charity Insights is at RECLAIM, a relatively new charity based in Manchester. RECLAIM works with young people who have been recognised as talented but may need some support to realise their potential. It encourages communication between young people and adults in communities in Greater Manchester in order to build the confidence and voices of the young people involved. One of RECLAIM’s main tag lines is enabling young people to be heard, be seen and lead change in their communities.

My project is based on research, outreach and evaluation.  I will be running focus groups with some of the previous participants in order to evaluate their projects and give some feedback so changes can be made to the upcoming projects.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust – Week 4

Finished the last week of my internship, it’s been an absolutely amazing experience, I’ve had involvement in multiple different sectors of the wildlife trust and have felt really welcomed into every different department. This week I’ve done multiple different wildlife based things, on Monday I was invited onto a lichen course to learn more about lichen, and see how we could maybe include it into the school curriculum, it was surprisingly interesting and I think I learnt a lot.

I also did some more work with the midweek volunteers, clearing ragwort out of fields as it is poisonous to live stock.

Week 2 at the Population Health Genomics (PHG) Foundation

The second week of my internship saw me taking my research project into more depth, gaining a better understanding of the other projects and roles within the foundation and arranging meetings for next week.

At the beginning of the week I sat down with my supervisor for a quick debrief and feedback session on the working draft of my briefing note. We primarily discussed my progress on the project and the evidence surrounding use of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), a new cancer testing approach, and the issues around its potential application in the clinic. It was very helpful to gain feedback at this stage, agree on areas for more in-depth research and identify experts we may want to approach for further information.

Last week!

Last week!

Last week of my internship, mixed feelings. I can’t believe time flies so fast, and I am already at the end of the internship. I am pride of myself that I have managed to come to Oxford on my own and accomplished all the work, and even better, I have learned a lot! This was the first time I did internship outside of study, which gave me an insight into the working of global health institute, and my internship here also allowed me to gain ideas of a branch of research which was very distinct from my PhD study, and this meaningful and interesting internship project has opened a new door for me to think about medical science, which probably w ill be combined to what I have done and am doing to build a big picture of research for me in the future.

Week 4 – Final week at TF Willetts Foundation

After 4 weeks at the Thomas Fredrick Willetts Foundation, my internship has come to an end. My final week has been packed full of liaising, research and finalising the projects we’ve been working towards.

So why did I decide to take up a charity insights internship?

I wanted to gain valuable experience in a professional, office environment as well as utilise my skills and knowledge to benefit others. If the insights scheme was not available, then I would have been waitressing tables all summer, which is still valuable work experience but I have been doing this ongoing for two years, having the chance to add something different through the insights scheme is extremely invaluable.

So long, farewell…

Four weeks completed. Wow. What an experience it has been. My time with BHF has flown by and I have very much enjoyed it!

With one document nearly complete (11 pages), 3 documents plans (11 pages each), 4 detailed cross referencing tables (15 pages each) for use online and one slightly frazzled brain, my time is complete!

The task I faced had not be tried before and no one quite knew what the final product would look like but after 4 weeks, 16 government/ NHS documents have been distilled down to 4 document plans. Not a small challenge. The final week has consisted of talking to other departments to get their veiw on what the tone and layout should be and trying to combine these into one.

Week 2 at the MS Trust

Today marks the end of my second week at the MS Trust. Now that I have settled into my role and got to know everyone I am working with, time is passing me by very quickly. I’m very surprised to see that I have reached the halfway-point of my internship already.

As I wrote in my last entry, the MS Trust is a charity that deals with all aspects of MS – from people with MS, to health professionals working with these individuals. The more time I spend here, the more I appreciate this fact.

This week I have continued with my literature searching, looking at the impacts MS can have on suicide risk, as well as looking at ways to manage patients with MS.