My student placement experience with Imara

Imara regularly hosts students for placements, internships and volunteering opportunities. Ellen, a former placement student shares her placement experience at Imara

How did you find out about Imara?

After studying in Nottingham for the previous three years, I knew that I wanted to volunteer my time at a Nottinghamshire based organisation whilst I undertook my masters degree. I first learned about Imara when I applied to the Nottingham Placement Programme. After reading the placement advert for Imara, I felt that the organisation’s core values aligned closely with mine and the opportunities that they offered within the organisation greatly interested me.

What projects did you work on during your placement?

During my placement with Imara, I worked closely with a fellow student on placement to create the ‘Trauma of Trials’ report. The creation of this report involved extensive research into the criminal justice system, additionally we interviewed practitioners working within the Imara team and analysed data from the organisation. I was later offered the opportunity to complete paid work with Imara, during this time I worked closely with the CHISVA service to create online resources for their clients, and create a report detailing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the service.

The Trauma of Trials report by Lily Furber and Ellen Garrett

How do you feel your contribution has made a difference to Imara?

After much positive feedback from the Imara team, I am confident that the work I have undertaken will leave a positive impact on the organisation. The ‘Trauma of Trials’ report has helped to highlight the multitude of barriers that children face when seeking justice within the UK legal system. I hope that this report can be used to educate professionals in this area and drive change. In addition to this, I am hopeful that the online resources I have created for the CHISVA service will become an important tool used while face to face support is limited due to the coronavirus pandemic.

What skills have you developed during your placement?

The experiences and skills that I have gained throughout this placement have been invaluable in my professional development. I have been able to regularly liaise with different members of the Imara team, and work closely with my colleague to produce multiple reports and resources – this has greatly improved my teamwork and communication skills. In addition to this, I have gained extensive knowledge about children’s experience going through the criminal justice system and the work that Imara undertakes.

How did you balance your studies and volunteering?

As an organisation, Imara understood the pressures of university and were flexible and accommodating with my university commitments. Because of this attitude, I found it relatively easy to balance studying a masters degree and volunteering at Imara. I felt continually supported by the Imara team throughout my studies, and  they were very accommodating if I had a particularly busy week at university.

How would you summarise your placement experience with Imara?

Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Imara. Although the subject matter of the reports I have worked on can occasionally be challenging, I have felt constantly supported by the team throughout my placement. I have been able to work with the majority of practitioners in Imara and gather a unique insight into their day to day work. In addition to this, the knowledge that I have gained has complemented my legal studies very well. The work I have undertaken has been immensely rewarding and I would encourage anybody who is considering applying for a placement with Imara to do it.

To enquire about placement opportunities at Imara please email  info@imara.org.uk

October 27th, 2020