Guest post from Brogan Young, a final year student from University of Stirling.
With my last university deadline passing, my time with Ideas for Ears comes to end. Although I didn’t have a chance to meet every member of the group, I very much enjoyed working on the project with Ideas for Ears. Unfortunately, my placement is ending before the project can be concluded. I’ll now be moving onto other things as I continue my studies in Glasgow.
Over the last few months, we have contacted a dozen churches from across the local area. Through the project, I had the fantastic opportunity to speak to many enthusiastic and friendly church representatives. All who I spoke to were eager to help improve the experiences of their fellow churchgoers.
With batches of survey responses beginning to trickle in, the process of analysing the data could begin. This was the part that I had been most looking forward to during the placement. I can safely say that I enjoyed working with the numbers and spreadsheets as much I as I thought I would.
Once all the survey responses had been distilled into something more readable, I began to write the reports. I can still not call myself an expert on hearing access, and so I left some of the reports for Sally to write so that the information given would be clear and accurate. However, I took pride in writing the explanations of the data that would communicate the results of the survey responses.
Taking on this placement has taught me many things. Not least of all did it teach me about what hearing access was and how important it is, but it has given me the chance to learn some invaluable skills.
Although a seemingly basic skill, before this placement I had little experience with holding phone calls, especially with someone I didn’t know. I often can become agitated and uneasy when placed into a situation where I must speak on a phone. Instead, I would try to use email or other methods of contact. However, that was not an option during this placement as I had to establish myself as a contact with the church representative and follow up on questions as we were having a conversation.
After some reassurance and advice from Sally, I eventually gained the confidence to make the first phone call of the placement. This may seem a small step, but it taught me a lot in a skill that I did not have any experience or confidence in. Since the beginning of the placement, I have had numerous phone calls that were not just related to my work with Ideas for Ears. This, for me, has been one of the most important skills that I can take away from my placement.
Ideas for Ears is a team of dedicated and enthusiastic people who want to make and see a difference. The work that we conducted together will hopefully help local churches improve their facilities for the benefit of all. With this project, Ideas for Ears is sure to make changes in society. At the end of this placement, I feel proud to have been a small part of them.