Launceston College student Isaac Cude writes about his work experience with the Trust
As part of my time in Launceston College, I had to apply somewhere for work experience. I remembered having an encounter with the Causley Trust before in late 2016, during a Charles Causley Festival, where I spoke to Jen McDerra. I’d always been interested in poetry and writing in general, and although I was only in Year 9, Jen suggested perhaps working for the Trust for work experience. Fast forward to early 2018, where the school had announced we needed to sort out our placements (it was a repetitive ceremony, complete with assemblies and constant reminders) and I decided that there was only one place that would actually interest me: The Causley Trust.
It helped that I had some experience with them in the past, and it was with Jen that made me fully invested in English, specifically poetry and creative writing, so having sent an application at the end of February, I waited. And I waited. And waited. And waited. In fact, it wasn’t until late March when I got a reply. What I didn’t know when I sent the application was that Jen McDerra had left the Trust, so the emails sent were forgotten, simply drifting in an inbox, waiting for a response. In a twist of ironically poetic chance, a new employee called Kate Campbell checked Jen’s old inbox and found that I was looking to work at the Trust. She contacted me, and after meeting her at the office, which to my surprise had turned out to be the Southgate Arch in Launceston, we agreed that I would work with her in July.
Which brings us to now. I’ve worked at the office for five days, and I can quite honestly say that this has been an eye-opening experience, not only in the world of work, but in the world of adults. Since I’m only still a teenager, there is a lot that I don’t know that schools don’t teach, so this week has been invaluable to my development as a person. There’s a lot to talk about, so I’ll start from the beginning: the Southgate Arch. It’s a beautiful medieval building- previously an old debtor’s prison- and nobody would assume that it would be an office building, but it’s a minimalistic, and idyllic workspace.
On the bottom floor is a comfortable lobby, decorated with artworks of Causley poems, created by the amazing Bex Bourne, and that really sets you at ease immediately as you walk in. Upstairs has more artwork, with an abstract illustration of Causley himself on a piece of slate, and more wonderfully colourful portraits of the poet hung on banners, which were created by local school children. This sets the scene for a welcoming, yet vibrant atmosphere, and the employees are just like the artwork: fun, bubbly, and charming. Kate Campbell and Rachel Morris were the two people in charge of sorting out my work week, and they’ve been incredibly supportive, as well as insightful. I was tasked with a variety of different jobs, from petty cash, to posting articles on the Trust’s website, and all of it has taught me something different- each day brought a new task, and with it, a new skill to be learnt.
Kate and Rachel helped me every step of the way, and even asked for my opinion on different issues, which made me feel like I belonged. It definitely changed my outlook on working life, and I no longer associate it with dull, drab cubicles stuck in high rise buildings, but rather a focused and diligent, but nevertheless creative and enthusiastic, environment. They don’t work for the sake of it, they enjoy what they do, and for me, that’s what I want to achieve when I enter the world of work.