Cathy Gleave – “My Work Experience at It’s Your Choice”

Cathy Gleave

Last month we had Cathy Gleave, a student at The Arnewood School, come to us for a week for a work experience placement. Here’s what she had to say about her time with It’s Your Choice:


“I spent just one week with the lovely people at “It’s Your Choice”, although I wish it could’ve lasted longer!

The New Forest based charity spend their time offering advice, support and guidance to young people struggling with any personal issue worrying them, varying from substance abuse and sexual health concerns to issues with housing and money, although there are many more areas that they cover.

The staff and volunteers I was working with put a lot of effort into finding jobs for me to do which would offer a variety of opportunities to learn and better understand the important and valuable role of the charity.

            My activities across the week varied greatly from helping to organise the on-site food bank to spending a morning in court! Each day I spent there offered opportunities in different areas including the experience of a real court case, visiting Hounsdown School to assist in a sex education lesson for a Year 9 class, attending the Fordingbridge workers forum, spending some time at The Salvation Army, and having the opportunity to sit in at the daily drop-in sessions where local young people have the chance to share their concerns and anxieties with a Youth Adviser. I also attended a presentation on data protection and the importance of the rules and regulations regarding confidentiality and keeping the data and information of a client safe.

            Overall, my time at IYC has been very valuable, informative, and of course enjoyable and was spent with a very friendly and welcoming group of staff and volunteers. For someone who is considering counselling as a potential career choice, my week spent here has been an eye-opener to the realities of the responsibilities and varied nature of the role of a Counsellor or Youth Adviser.

I enjoyed my time here so much that I’m currently looking into offering my time here over the summer and perhaps further into the future.”