Lucy Hyland at Hop, Skip and Jump

Before the placement, I have to admit that I was nervous about what was going to happen, as I was going to a part of the world that I had never been to before and I knew nobody at the charity or at where I was staying for the duration of my placement. However, I had met a representative from the charity at the Rank Fellowship Charities Evening in November and instantly connected with the work that they do so I was very excited about seeing the charity and meeting everyone involved. I have also, as part of a team, been raising money for Hop, Skip and Jump by taking part in an enterprise challenge so I was really looking forward to seeing where our money was going to and seeing the impact that we could make. I really wanted to develop my organisational skills and my leadership skills while at the centre but my main aim was to help the charity in whatever way I possibly could and to spend time getting to know all of the wonderful children who benefit from the charity's support and help.

Once I arrived at the centre, I was welcomed by all the friendly faces at the charity and my initial worries and fears left me straight away as they informed me about the centre and showed me around. I feel that I communicated well with all the workers at the centre as I was really interested about their careers and what they love the most and find the most challenging about working with people with additional needs. I always tried my best to be punctual at the centre and arrive with a positive attitude as I felt that this would influence the attitudes of those that I would be working with, recognising the importance of a leader being an optimistic person. From my point of view, the placement has taught me much more than I thought it would and I have gained vital leadership skills; I have absolutely loved my time at Hop, Skip and Jump and I cannot wait to return in the near future.

I was delighted to welcome the charity's founders at my school last week to present them with a cheque of £1800 that we have raised through a business challenge at school. After Clic and Celia spoke to the girls in my team about the charity, we were all incredibly inspired to continue, as a school, to support the charity in whatever way we can. Next year, I look forward to trying to convince our school charity council to support the charity further in their plans and I aim to use my leadership skills to really make 2014-2015 a successful year of developments for Hop, Skip and Jump.

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