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Final Month of Internship for Thomas

Wed, 5th Apr 2023

In June 2022, with the support of Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership, we welcomed Thomas McClure into Better Lives Partnership as our Social Media and Communications Intern, and in November his six-month internship was extended until late April. Now, with his internship soon coming to an end, we are wishing him well in wherever life takes him next.

To share his experiences, here are some words from the intern himself:

Coming to Better Lives Partnership in the middle of 2022 was daunting at first, as it was the first job I got after an isolating two years of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns, and I had rarely left the house before that. Entering a new environment on a very regular basis and getting to know new people after so long was honestly pretty scary, but everyone at BLP was so welcoming and understanding, and they helped to create an enabling environment for me to ease back into a regular life and get back on my feet.

Over the course of almost a year of being an intern at Better Lives Partnership, supported by the Galloway Glens, I’ve grown so much. When I began, I could barely manage travelling to the edge of town without an attack of the nerves, but after months of pushing myself bit by bit and having that secure base of understanding co-workers, I’m now comfortable travelling as far as Stranraer, Carlisle, and Edinburgh! I had also never worked in an office before this job, and so there was a worry that it wouldn’t be right for me, but through my experience with BLP I’ve come to be in my element within my office space and efficiently carry out the tasks asked of me. My confidence and social skills have also greatly improved this past year, as has my understanding of autism, which has helped me understand myself better too.

And, of course, my understanding and management of social media has also massively improved, and I believe that will open up many more opportunities for me in the future, both professionally and personally.

BLP has also helped facilitate learning experiences for me that have been instrumental in my work, have broadened my mind, and have been thoroughly enjoyable. From TES courses about cyber security and child protection, through Open University courses about understanding autism and understanding business, to an Edinburgh College course in marketing and digital promotion for business, as well as a photography course with the It Centre in Castle Douglas, I’ve learned so much and opportunities have opened up for me to learn even more.

Looking ahead, I’m eager to employ everything I’ve learned from my internship here in new and different careers. Knowing my internship is coming to an end has given me the opportunity to expand my horizons, both in terms of different work and also in terms of location, as I have been discussing moving to a city with friends. Staff at BLP and the Galloway Glens have also been helping me seek new opportunities for work and experience across Dumfries and Galloway and beyond, making sure I don’t only land on my feet but hit the ground running after my internship is up, and for that I’m so thankful. I cannot overstate how much I appreciate the support everyone has given me.

I’m so grateful for having had this opportunity to work with Better Lives Partnership and the Galloway Glens. I’ve met so many wonderful people, including staff and young people and those beyond our sites, and I’ve enjoyed the activities and trips a lot, even when I’m just a photo-taking observer. It’s been an amazing experience that I’ll always cherish. Here’s to the future!

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