It is true that when PIP and I put together a work experience placement for an adult with a learning disability, fear started to erupt… PIP needed to find the right student for us; we are an international law firm with huge offices and a complicated travel route from PIP. And that’s not to mention the prospect of working with almost 500 new colleagues – it can be daunting for the most experienced of workers!
When I sit down in my music class and look around the room, I can count seven students for whom English is a second language, someone who’s selective mutism prevents her from communicating verbally, another person who’s autism makes it incredibly difficult for him to initiate a verbal interaction, three people who require hearing aids and two whose lack of confidence meant it was weeks before they spoke to me for the first time. And yet when we start to play, these barriers to communication disappear. They play their instruments in tandem, rhythmically and melodically in sync with one another, feeding off each other’s energy and the feeling within the room. They become a single unit working together towards a common goal- all without speaking a word. This is the unifying and enabling power of music, and I am fortunate enough to witness it every day at PIP.
Having recently spent a day volunteering at PIP, I can safely say that it’s an experience I cannot recommend highly enough. Not only do you learn a lot about yourself, it is one of the most rewarding days of work I’ve ever done.
I only live around the corner from PIP so when I work here in the mornings I can get up at 8:30am. I always make time for a quick breakfast of cereal or a banana otherwise I start feeling a bit dizzy! If I want to treat myself, I grab a hot chocolate from the café across the road which makes starting the day a lot easier.
1. Regular Contribution
It will come as no surprise that small, regular donations are the best way you can give your support to a small charity like PIP. However, the knowledge that you can do this right out of your pay check with the Give As Your Earn scheme is not quite as widespread. Not only does this provide a small, altruistic buzz at the end of each month (a great antidote to the frustration of inadvertently ripping your pay slip in half as you wrestle with the perforated seals) but all gifts are tax free.