Two A Level students from St Ronan’s College say they are now considering a career with the NSPCC after an eye-opening period of work experience.
Ellen McMahon and Maebh Turbitt, who spent a week with the charity in its Belfast offices, were particularly impressed with the “amazing” work it does in supporting young people who are giving evidence in court.
They said, “Those working within the service have made such a difference in all of the young people that they have come in contact with.
“This made such an impact on us that we would both consider a career path in this specific sector of the NSPCC.”
The girls also saw at first hand many of the other services provided, ranging from Childline and the adult Helpline to the Schools Service.
They also accompanied senior NSPCC staff lobbying at Stormont.
“A staff member who worked in the adult helpline talked with us about the services which they provide. This was extremely interesting as we did not know that it existed until we had arrived at the organisation.
We were given an insight in what they did to provide the best support to the service users,” they said.
The adult helpline is for people who have concerns about the welfare of a child and wish to speak to someone in confidence.
The girls added, “As well as this we had the opportunity to attend a play which was about child sexual exploitation. This play was eye-opening as we were able to witness at first hand the true dangers of unhealthy relationships and the effects they have on both the young person’s psychological health as well as their physical health.”
Among the other places they visited was Irish speaking school Gaelscoil na bhFal on the Falls Road in Belfast, where they witnessed the Schools Service at work.
Of the entire week, they said, “This is definitely an experience we will remember forever.”