My decision to opt for the thin-placement programme was due to my desire to gain a deeper understanding of my career options and to assess my suitability for them. As I had an interest in several branches on Psychology when I started uni, I was happy for the opportunity of experiencing two different work environments during my first academic years, as this was likely to give me a practical insight into what is there and what I am capable of.
Being primarily interested in following a forensics career path, HAGAM had the promising prospects of offering me the right type of experience for my main field of interest. HAGAM (Hillingdon Action Group for Addiction Management) is a substance misuse charity based in Hillingdon, offering drug and alcohol addiction treatment through one-to-one key working and counselling, group support, street outreach and Criminal Justice Outreach.
My personal responsibilities include shadowing Criminal Justice outreach (i.e. routinely visit Police Custody and Probation to engage offenders who are detained for alcohol – related offences, a direct interaction that I am very lucky to have during my first career steps), as well as shadowing CJ and ATR key working sessions, street outreach (engaging drug users and street drinking population), co-facilitating groups (acupuncture, harm minimisation), admin duties, and undertaking gate assessments.
I found it to be engaging, challenging and rewarding; I highly recommend the placement programme to everybody, as it will stimulate development on so many different levels.