After finishing her GCSEs in mid-June, Young People’s Forum (YPF) member Annabel came to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity for a work experience placement with the Digital team. Here, Annabel tells us what she got up to.
A new digital marketer
“For the first half of the month I worked with the Digital Marketing team which was great fun. Looking at the social side of the charity is incredibly interesting as there’s a surprisingly large number of different tasks behind it. I enjoyed editing articles from Pioneer, the charity’s magazine for major donors, to make them suitable posts for Lifeline, the charity blog.
"I also wrote social copy for these articles, which means writing tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram captions that direct the audience to the blog. I did not realise the difficulties imposed by the 140-character limit!”
Attracting a younger audience
“I started working on a potential Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Snapchat which was a definite highlight. I gathered age demographics from major social networks, like Facebook, and compared them to those of Snapchat. Snapchat has a younger audience than any other social network so is a potential source of many new charity supporters.
“There are now quite a few charities with accounts, including Unicef and Muslim Aid. I followed the charities using Snapchat to look at the frequency and types of posts to get more ideas as to how the app can be used in a charity context. I then used my own understanding of Snapchat to create a list of potential posts, such as patient and staff takeovers, user campaigns, and ambassador takeovers to spark interest in GOSH in more areas of the country (and of course YPF takeovers!)”
“I spent time helping to complete a competitor engagement report. This looks at the social media profiles of other big charities in great detail. The purpose of this task was to find the combinations that get the most online attention, which could subsequently translate into greater fundraising and awareness. It was really interesting to look at other charities’ campaigns and blog posts.”
Lights, camera, action!
“On two occasions, I was involved with filming. The first time, we went over to The Children’s Hospital School to watch and film a patient have a lesson from one of the teachers. It was fascinating to get such an intimate perspective on the school. The other time I made my acting debut (just kidding) with some other members of the team as part of the upcoming Bake It Better campaign."
“I moved over to the Online Editorial team in the third week. I worked on the TeenGOSH Community section of the website, which of course includes the very important YPF pages! I think it’s important to keep the teenager section fresh and updated, like the rest of the website. I looked at the web pages of other youth forums across the country for inspiration – you’ll be glad to know that ours is high up in the rankings! I brainstormed ideas for videos to go in the YPF section to liven up the text.
“I edited charity blog posts and learned how to upload them to the website. It’s really interesting to see everything that goes on behind the scenes, you’d be surprised at how much does! This is true to everything I’ve seen during my time here – I’ll no longer take for granted the funny campaign videos, blog, magazine and social media posts.”
Breaking down genetics
“On my last day of work experience, I had the amazing opportunity of interviewing Lucy Jenkins, Director of the North East Thames Regional Genetics Laboratory. I never expected I’d get to do this kind of thing when I decided to do work experience with the Digital team, but it just goes to show how varied my time here was!
“I’m thinking of studying biochemistry at university so this opportunity was particularly fantastic for me. Lucy works in genomic research at GOSH which includes the 100,000 Genomes Project. During the interview we talked about the huge scale of this pioneering research, the depth and detail at which the genomes are analysed and the relevance of this project to so many patients at GOSH.”
Searching for variation
“During the interview Lucy gave me a clearer idea of the background of the project, just how quickly and accurately the scientists are able to analyse every minute detail of a gene, and also the intricate organisation system which allows it to operate at a national level.
“Straight after she took us over to the genetics labs on Great Ormond Street where she talked us through some if her team's research. The labs were so amazing – you wouldn’t believe how many samples and machines are in there, they had samples from thirty years ago!
“I got to look down a microscope so powerful that I could clearly see chromosomes. Lucy also showed us some data on a computer and showed us how they look for genetic variation in the DNA. This opportunity really increased my interest and understanding, of the 100,000 Genomes Project!”
A great experience
“I had such a great four weeks at the charity. I learned so much about so many different areas – from email and website design to the Children’s Hospital School, from other charities to genomics. I am so grateful to the whole team who let me work with them and for giving me such great experiences.”