Work experience at SSW: a report by Ella

SSW recently welcomed a work experience student to the team: Ella, from Davison High School. Here’s her account of her time spent at SSW:

Hi, I’m Ella and I am a Year 10 student from Davison High School. I had my work experience placement at Sight Support Worthing, and I’ve written this to tell you all about my experience during the week. I arrived on Monday and got stuck in straight away, picking up different members on the SSW bus and taking them to Steyne Gardens to have a look at the renovation work the charity had been doing there (which looked great by the way!).

We then came back to the Centre for tea, coffee and cakes and then took everyone back home again. It was great to see everyone having a great time and catching up with each other and you could tell the services and activities that the charity holds benefit people greatly. 

Also, during the week I learnt about and tested out some equipment designed to help visually impaired people with daily activities, such as the OrCam which magnets to the side of a pair of glasses and will photograph text and then read it out to the user. There were also the liquid level indicators that would make noises when the hot water going into a mug reached the right level, and the long cane that could sense when a hazard was approaching in front of the user. It was interesting to learn about these things and how technology is advancing to help visually impaired people in our society. 

photo of Ella and friend sitting on a train and looking at a phone

I also completed training so that I could become a qualified Level 1 Sighted Guide, which was a useful thing to complete as it means I am now able to lead a blind or severely visually impaired person confidently and accurately. 

I learnt more about the different activities SSW offers, which seem varied and fun, such as the Cycall event I went to which is inclusive cycling that takes visually impaired people into consideration with their bike designs and allows them to have a easier cycling experience. It was great fun, and I was surprised at the speeds some of the members could cycle at – they were zooming past!  Other events held by the charity include regular art classes, shooting, woodwork, water activities and even skydiving! They challenge peoples’ initial perceptions that visually impaired people may not be able to do certain activities, as members regularly partake in fun and unique events. I’ve learnt that there are a lot of different ways one can be visually impaired, and I’ve got to speak to different people with different capabilities and experiences, which was very eye-opening.

Overall, I had a great experience and got a good insight on what life is like for the visually impaired which was useful as it allows me to be more understanding of different people in the community. I was getting involved in different activities and talking to a range of people, volunteers and members alike, which showed me a different side to having a job. The staff and volunteers at SSW were very friendly and welcoming and made the experience a pleasant one. It was a great taster into life in the workplace and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get involved in some fun activities and learn about the charity and how it helps people.

Thanks Ella; we’re glad you enjoyed your work experience with us!