Today has been my favorite day since I’ve been in Birmingham! We woke up early and headed to a children’s charity center called Action for Children. After spending the first half of the day inside the facility, we headed to Birmingham City University to hear a lecture on social work within the education and healthcare systems. After the BCU lecture, the university surprised us with a pizza party and quiz game. To conclude the evening, I indulged in a yummy dessert called the “O-R-E-O Overload” and wow the name sure is fitting!
We began the morning at the charity center for children and I was thrilled. While the Action for Children’s cause is amazing, my excitement came from the fact that I’d be interacting with a younger age group compared to my previous experiences in charity work. I’d be able to see direct support for children living in poverty within the United Kingdom. It’s the type of support that puts a smile on children’s faces while making a real difference in their lives. When first walking in, it was obvious the facility was not luxurious, but the staff members made sure to brighten up to place so we felt welcomed from the start. While in the facility, we were provided a lecture on the mission of Action for Children, a tour of the facility, and the opportunity to interact with the children while always respecting child-guarding policies. During the lecture portion of the visit, I was deeply moved by the values the organization possesses and the various services that are offered free of charge. The inclusive nature of the organization was reflected in the presentation when they discussed the importance of language, as they find all languages to be equally as important and worthy of respect. While touring the facility, the guide acknowledged that it is not where they’d like it to be, but that additions to the property, such as an outdoor garden, additional classrooms, and an outdoor sitting area for faculty, are planned. We watched the children at play and smiles abounded. When seeing the playroom, I thought back to when I was their age, working on the same types of puzzles, Lego pieces, and getting Play-Doh caught in my hair. While the children inside the center have their own stories, each of them are victims of one of the worst issues plaguing England, poverty. Action for Children has been making a difference in children’s lives since 1869. Today, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, is the patron of the organization. To learn more about Action for Children, visit https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/.
During the BCU lecture on social work, we got an even deeper understanding of how much community outreach and involvement is required to improve society. Social work is such a demanding profession, but its goal is to encourage society to progress positively and for all citizens to receive what they are rightfully entitled to. My favorite part about this lecture was when the professor opened the floor to the group and we shared various facts about ourselves. I grew a deeper respect for my peers, as one of the questions we answered involved sharing a flaw. To be open about our insecurities is an important step to team bonding, and such skill was demonstrated by all of us today. The teambuilding continued later during the pizza party and quiz game. After the experiences of the day, I think we recognized just how fortunate we are to be here in the U.K. and enjoying this time together. I know it strengthened my resolve to complete the course, get into nursing, and be involved in improving society. As for the O-R-E-O Overload, well I’ll be back in the gym soon.
Well, that’s all for today, cheers!