BLM is very proud to support Whizz Kidz, a charity which works hard to transform the lives of disabled children across the UK, supporting them to become confident and independent young adults. Over the summer, we offered five work placements in BLM offices. Last month we were very pleased to be joined by Nathan Giles who worked with our team in Birmingham for four days. Nathan tells us about his experience at BLM in the following blog:
I, Nathan Giles, attended a Whizz Kidz work placement from the 15/8/16 to the 19/8/16 at B.L.M. law firm in Birmingham. I worked alongside various individuals to include Partners, Solicitors and Trainee Solicitors. Throughout my time at the work placement I was supported by my own PAs, Simon and Allan.
BLM had arranged a programme of work and a broad experience base for me before my arrival to ensure that I could make the most of the opportunity afforded to me. They also gave me an induction and some IT training. I was also very happy to find out that the law firm had given me my own login details to their computer system.
On my first day of attendance I was lucky to be able to attend a court hearing with two representative of B.L.M, and I was also fortunate to be allowed to read a case file.
On my second day Simon and I were given the opportunity to read some recent correspondence with the law firm. I found that this gave me a real insight into how the legal professionals are required to have thick skins, as some of the comments made in their work are highly offensive.
Simon and I were also allowed to attend a charity meeting comprising all departmental representatives from the company.
On day three of my work placement I was happy to find out that the team I was working with had arranged for Simon and I to attend a work’s training lunch which the firm paid for. This made both Simon and I feel valued as part of their team and the overall experience I found useful.
On my fourth day at the law firm I was invited to sit in on a conference call with one of the team and various medical experts to discuss issues arising in a case he was working on.
I was also able to finish reading the case file from the previous day’s work and was often asked my opinion which also made me feel that I was accepted within the firm.
On day five I was given the opportunity to read through a high profile case, and this shows the trusting relationship that I was able to build with the team over the time that I was on my work placement.
I feel that my work placement was a success because they openly said that they would willingly have me back at the firm anytime and they also expressed an interest in having other Whizz Kidz Ambassadors attend work placements at their firm.
I feel that my time in this work placement was well spent and gave me the opportunity to get the feel of what it would be like to do a full day’s work in the legal profession. This is essential as many disabled young people are not given the opportunity to go on work placements readily due to the complications created by their disability.
It is essential, therefore, that the relevant funding is provided to ensure that work placements for young disabled people can continue in its current form. This will help to ensure that Whizz Kidz can contribute to preventing unemployment amongst the young disabled community; this in turn will hopefully help prevent any disabled people that Whizz Kidz works with from becoming NEET (not in employment, education or training).