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It’s times like these that I know words can make a difference


Rosie Bishop, Advertising, Brand and Events Lead

When first asked to participate in this blog series – I was unsure what to write, and where to begin. I work in the Communications team at Five Rivers, and have done for over five years. However, during my time at Five Rivers, I’ve been lucky enough to experience what it’s like working with the children and it’s this which has shaped my career. I am by no means an expert, and it would be disrespectful to those who live and breathe the role day in, and day out, to claim that I am; but the experience has given me the added insight and experience into the role, and the work which we do as an organisation, and there’s nothing I enjoy more than being on an events stand knowing that I can speak from some experience in my current role as Advertising, Brand and Events Lead.

This series asks me to reflect on moments which have made my career to date what it is. I distinctly remember my first day at Five Rivers, nearly seven years ago, I was a new graduate, and starting work within the HR team as the HR Graduate. As a 90’s child, all I knew of children in care was Tracy Beaker, all I knew of social workers was ‘Elaine the Pain’.

During my time in the HR team, I interviewed and recruited Residential Child Care Workers – hearing some of the stories was fascinating. My Five Rivers journey continued with a move to the Business Support team, working on tenders to help secure new business – it was here that I was offered the opportunity which I had never thought was possible – to try my hand as a Sessional Residential Child Care Worker – and I did!

It was during my sessional shifts that I really learnt the importance of what Five Rivers does, and how and why we do what we do. I distinctly remember being in awe of those who do the role full time, and the resilience they showed; it also made me realise how many misconceptions there are around children in care, working in the child care sector, and how undervalued the staff who do this job are. It made me want to make a difference to both the lives of the children in care, and those who look after them in any way possible.

After nine months working in Business Support, I moved into the Marketing and Communications Team; and it was here that I found my niche, and what I wanted to do. Working in the Marketing and Communications team allowed me to start banging the drum for residential and start to challenge the misconceptions which people outside the sector have.

My role now means on a monthly basis, I get to hear some of the stories our amazing foster carers tell; and hear the difference which Fostering has made to the lives of our children and young people.  I may no longer do sessional shifts, but I get a huge amount of pride reading and hearing the stories which those who work in Residential share, and I have the privilege of writing them up, and sharing them. Once in a while, I get to hear how the girls who lived at Avon are doing now – some have grown up and left care, others are in foster care, but I feel the pride knowing that I made a small difference to their lives; moreover, by challenging the misconceptions both as a Five Rivers employee, and within my personal life, I know that I can slowly but surely, continue to make a difference to their lives.

So, what are my ‘it’s times like these moments’? For me, it’s when I can share the stories of our amazing staff and foster carers. It’s talking to people outside of work and challenging their misconceptions; it’s working with recruitment to help them find new adults for the homes. It’s knowing, that although I work in Comms, I’m a small part of the big wheel that is Five Rivers Child Care, that can, and does, turn children’s lives around.

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