Newsletter from SNAP Childcare / SNAP16+
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SNAP News:

In August 2015

Welcome to SNAP News - a round up of news in November. 

This months news kindly sponsored by: Nannytax who we have known since SNAP first started back in 2001!

August 2015

Lucy Webster - Columnist of the Year at the Guardian Student Media Awards 2014 

Last summer, I wrote about my first year at university and my experience of having a team of carers. Mostly, I revelled in the fun I had as a fresher. 2nd year was much the same, although I did do a lot more work and perhaps a little less partying.

One of the highlights of the year was winning the Student Columnist of the Year prize at the Guardian’s Student Media Awards in November. Not only was I absolutely thrilled by this, but it also meant I won the chance to do two weeks of work experience on the Guardian’s newsdesk in July. I was also very lucky to be offered a third week on the comment desk, thanks to a recommendation from the editor at Prospect.

While I was unbelievably excited about spending time at such a prestigious daily, there was of course the worry of how I was going to do this. There were two concerns. Firstly, how was I going to get to work? The Guardian’s offices are in Kings Cross, while I live in West London, and as we all know, the Tube isn’t accessible. The bus journey is two hours, which wasn’t really going to work. Secondly, I would obviously need some care during the day, but I didn’t know when or what, so my PA Fran needed to be relatively close-by. The conundrum wracked our brains for quite some time.

We decided that I needed to stay near to the office so that Fran could be around and I could get to work on my own, but finding an accessible apartment on temporary renting sites proved impossible and we had to bite the very expensive bullet of a Premier Inn room.

It proved to be worth every penny for the experiences and opportunities I had. The first two weeks taught me a lot about the nuts and bolts of journalism: finding stories, watching the newswires, and contacting sources. Thankfully, most press offices have email addresses, but a few don’t. My slight speech impediment makes speaking on the phone to strangers a little problematic, but I was immensely pleased with how intuitively those around me recognised the problem and helped me out. In fact, everyone’s willingness to lend a hand meant I was much more independent at work than I had thought possible.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t have done it without Fran. She got me looking as professional as I have ever looked each morning and came in to help me with lunch and the toilet every day. Having her nearby was indispensable, both for the peace of mind it afforded me and for the freedom it gave. One Monday, we jumped in a cab to the House of Commons so I could attend a debate on assisted dying, something I couldn’t have done on my own. While she consistently tells me not to thank her for helping me, I remain hugely grateful for everything she does. SNAP found an amazing person in Fran!

My three weeks at work were more successful than I could ever have hoped for. I wrote and drafted many pieces for the website and even ended up in print a few times. I was really pleased that, although I wrote a few pieces on disability, I was also allowed to cover political and student issues, which is of course where my heart really lies. Since finishing my placement, I have continued to write freelance – even getting paid! You can see all my pieces on my Guardian profile here.

One of the most amazing things about my time at the Guardian was meeting fantastic journalists and editors. After two brilliant years at university, I have almost conquered my fear of speaking to people I don’t know (not always, I must admit). This gave me the confidence to speak up in meetings and during regular office chit-chat, opening up a wealth of connections and experiences. I even spoke to the editor-in-chief! It may sound silly, but I am very proud of myself for using my voice and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. It just goes to show that a little fear and cerebral palsy are no obstacles to success.

My three weeks at the Guardian were some of the best of my life, not least because they showed me that, despite everything, I am perfectly capable of being a professional journalist one day (what a relief!). I learnt so much and took so many opportunities I never would have elsewhere. I can’t recommend work experience enough to other disabled young people; you never know where it could lead or what you are capable of.

- Lucy Webster

Lucy Webster is a journalist and student, studying politics and international relations at Warwick University.  She is well known to SNAP and has written articles for SNAP16+ about her experience starting at university.  

Guardian Student Media Awards

For the last 35 years the Guardian Student Media Awards have sought out the best student writers, designers, broadcasters, editors, and photographers. It's a highly rewarding scheme, well known within student arenas due to its well-established history.

The focus of the awards is to discover and promote these talented individuals as well as reward and celebrate their excellent work.

Previous winners of the awards have gone on to become hugely successful, such as: Patrick Kingsley, Egypt correspondent, the Guardian; Andrew Rawnsley, associate editor, politics, the Observer; Mark Frith, former editor, Heat Magazine; John (Rankin) Waddell, photographer; Jonathan Freedland, executive editor of opinion, the Guardian; Rachel Newsome, editor of Dazed and Confused; and Emily Barr, travel writer and novelist.

Are you or a client seeking support at university or in the workplace?

SNAP16+ can help! We recruit high calibre PAs, carers and support workers across the UK and Internationally.

Starting university or a new job is an exciting time, but it can also be a daunting time for many. Whether you or your client have physical, practical, psychological or emotional needs, having the right support can make all the difference.

If you would like more information or would like to discuss a specific job, please contact us or call 020 729 2200 to speak to one of our consultants.

SNAP Childcare / SNAP16+ - the specialist recruitment agency placing high calibre professionals to support babies, children, teenagers, young adults and adults with additional needs since 2001.

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SNAP Childcare / SNAP16+ - the specialist recruitment agency placing high calibre professionals to support babies, children, teenagers, young adults and adults with additional needs since 2001.

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