Work experience youngsters at RAF Halton

RAF Halton was busy for the first fortnight in July with youngsters completing work experience assignments in different areas of the Station. Flight Sergeant Mark Boole co-ordinated the event with ten youngsters. They were in the gym, the photographic section, the dog section, IFPT and Media Communications Office to name but a few.

Tia Daley, who spent her first week in the photographic section getting out and about with Kate, Michelle and Luca, and her second week in the MCO’s office, wrote about her time on the Station, saying:

My name is Tia Daley I’m 15 years old and I have completed journalism and photography work experience at RAF Halton. I attend John Colet School where I was first told about work experience. My mum works at RAF Halton and managed to get me my work placements based on my keen interest in writing, photography and film.

The first week I worked in the photography section with the three lovely photography ladies, Kate, Shell and Luca. I felt very comfortable when working because the environment was very friendly. I learned a variety of different skills during my week such as copy writing, filing, camera angles, how to adjust camera settings and how to edit my pictures. I was taken on many different exciting jobs where I had the chance to develop my photography skills and learn about the RAF and the things that happen on the Station. After each job I uploaded the pictures I had taken to a computer and chose my six best pictures to edit. Once edited I was able to print them as a personal record. My pictures were also burned on to disk for me to keep. Overall it was a very unique experience and has given me a larger interest in photography.

My second week was spent in the Media Office. I enjoyed it and felt very comfortable working with Jane, she was friendly and nice to work with. I was given different tasks to write about and a chance to develop my writing skills and different writing techniques so my journalism knowledge has grown. This whole experience has inspired me to write a lot more; it has made me realise how much I enjoy writing and coming up with interesting stories for others to read.

I am very proud of the work I have produced during my work experience and I have been inspired to pursue photography and journalism because I have enjoyed both experiences greatly.”

Flight Sergeant Boole described co-ordinating the event, he said: “The work experience programme for the summer period of 2014 has been challenging to say the least. The minefield of insurance, health and safety and child protection was made somewhat easier by helpful representatives both on Station and external agencies such as the Buckinghamshire Education Business Partnership (BEBP). That said, I still found myself multitasking relentlessly in the two weeks preceding the arrival of the students.

Obstacles such as surprise student bookings and unplanned staff absences were surmounted at many stages and I need to thank all those on Station who provided invaluable advice and guidance to keep the programme on track.

Until I saw this side of the programme, I’d somewhat underestimated the level of work going on behind the scenes, both by the co-ordinator and by each sponsoring section. The hard graft by all parties was recompensed by the students all reporting that they had enjoyed their experience here (no arms were twisted to achieve this accolade!). Some found that at times they were under utilised, a risk inherent with being based with a single section for the entire one or two week placement. In the future we will fix this by delivering an RAF based experience, with students moving between sections daily to see how different elements of the force operate.This will expose them to areas they might not ordinarily consider, and may put them outside of their comfort zone slightly; an experience familiar to any serviceperson and just one of the vagaries of service life.

I hope they all gained something by coming here, even if as a result they decide that service life is not for them, at least we’ll have helped them with a small part of a hugely important decision.”

Group photo: Flight Sergeant Boole with the youngsters.