My week at JBTC

Fri 21 August 2015

My week at JBTC

I’ve been working in the Jersey Brain Tumour Charity office for near a week at this point.

With my background as a biomedical science student I’ve spent most of my time researching away for the team, thankfully not being too confused by all the jargon that comes my way.

Of course, spreadsheet management has also been a fairly large part of my days here. A week down the line and I’m happy to say that my Excel expertise have improved to a point where they actually exist. I do have to thank the table I’ve just finished on collection tins for that one.

That isn’t to say that the experience here hasn’t been nothing but office work – far from it actually. It took all of five minutes after meeting Sue and Kevin for me to realise that there are a million and one things more that go into running a charity than I thought, enthusiasm being a key part of several of those million and one. The enthusiasm was more than a little infectious.

This came to be most true, I think, at the monthly Brainy Buddies meeting that I got to sit in on. We heard all about the hero of the hour, Gary Coutanche, and his recent and nothing short of incredibly impressive climb up Ben Nevis for the charity. Jokes were being made about others taking the next day off to pop up a mountain themselves.

A raffle came about and I could only approve immensely as bottles of wine were snatched up – I’m blameless in that approval, of course, given my student status. If anything it’s to be expected.

But past all that I was honestly astounded by every single person sat at the table. They all had their own stories, and had gone through experiences that I couldn’t even begin to imagine, and yet they were so supportive of everyone else. It was utterly selfless, and suddenly the research I’d been doing those past few days on proton therapy seemed trivial in comparison.

Past the spreadsheets and the research, meetings like Brainy Buddies are a great reminder of just who you’re helping, and that it’s all more than worth it.Initially I’d (rather selfishly) taken up the opportunity to work here as simply something to add to list of ‘medical-related work experience’ I’ve been desperately trying to compile. Now, at the end of a week here, I’d happily give up more of my time to work here even after that list has been sent off and I’m free to do as I please.

JBTC is a small but utterly brilliant charity, and I’m glad I’ve been able to help them even in perhaps an incredibly small way. Whether you’re trying to compile the same list I am or are far past needing to, I can’t think of many places more deserving of support than this amazing little office.

Thank you for reading.