My name is Sam Loveridge, I’m 17 and I’m attending Heart of Worcestershire college. I love sports, the majority of them anyway, especially football as I play weekly for the Solihull Moors Cerebral Palsy team – it is really good and it keeps me fit and active. I also watch my brother play regularly. At HoW, my course requires you to do 30 hours of work experience to complete the course and without any previous work experience when thinking about having to do it, I was fairly nervous.
This is where Active Hands came in. I heard about them through a friend and I was interested straight away; I was keen to find out more about the family run company. My first day was on the 23rd of March and when I arrived I was warmly welcomed by Karen into the office I would be working in, once a week, for the next 6 weeks. I walked in to see Mel already here working, she also welcomed me in a lovely manner. I was set up on the computer and I started by looking over the website to understand how the company started and seeing the products that are available for sale. After this, I was shown the products and given a few to try on. I tried the General Purpose gripping aid and the Small Item aid, at first I thought they would be uncomfortable but I was very wrong as they were comfortable and I could understand immediately how much they would help those who needed them. I was also shown the smaller items like the Zip Grips, the Muggi and the Plug Tugs, which I thought would be helpful for me. Soon after, Jo arrived and welcomed me. She told me a bit about herself as she is currently at university. Then I was back on the computer, I started to help the company as I was given the tracking numbers of the orders they had and was asked to see how long it took for them to arrive at their destination.
At that point I was unaware how long that task would end up taking – it was a few weeks work. During these weeks I met Rob (the designer of the gripping aids and company director) and it was good to meet him as I had read his inspiring story and being able to chat to him was very interesting. Towards this point I was completing the dates of the orders so I then moved onto sorting the ‘Issue Lists’. This meant looking up data in the Issue Lists spreadsheets and totalling the orders from the different countries and then noting them down onto paper for Karen to use in the future. This will help the company to track which countries their products are going to. This was also a few weeks work which surprised me a little because I didn’t think it would take me too long!
As I come to the end of my work experience with Active Hands, I would like to thank every one of them for giving me this opportunity, I really appreciate it. It has been so influential for my progress and I never expected to have enjoyed it as much as I have. So, to Karen, Rob, Mel, Jo, Clare, Lorna and the rest of the team, thank you all so much.