Volunteering at I CAN by Kaisin Yee

It works. These are the two words that sums up I CAN as a charity, from my experience working with them both at Meath School in Ottershaw, and with the team at the central office in London.

As a speech and language therapy student, I had my paediatrics placement at Meath School, where the day-to-day functioning can perhaps best be described as ‘textbook model’. I was watching theories I have been taught of how therapists, teachers and families should collaborate to support the children, and how therapists should adapt their therapy to the needs of the individual child, play out before me… And what’s best, I was part of it all! It was a truly incredible experience meeting and working with the endearing children and inspired staff in Meath School. The biggest difference I saw between these children and others I have met with similar difficulties in mainstream school, are that they are so much less frustrated, and so much happier, which is so important in childhood.

Hearing their stories and seeing first-hand how much children with even the most severe communication difficulties can achieve when given the right support, really impressed upon me what being a speech and language therapist is all about.

After graduating from university this summer, I spent some time working ‘behind the scenes’ at I CAN’s central office as a volunteer. It was incredible to feel the energy and dedication of the team, working tirelessly to drum up support for the charity, help lost and confused carers and parents access the help they need, and create the most exciting resources for parents and professionals alike. I have since come to appreciate the amount of work put in to ensure the seamless running of the organization that can be so easily taken for granted by those in the ‘front-line’.

Now that I am leaving London to begin my speech and language therapy career in Singapore, I have decided to dedicate my first half-marathon this December to I CAN. Having worked with them, I have seen, from the inside, the work they do for a population of often sidelined children with less visible difficulties, supporting professionals who work with them; and, as importantly, giving solutions to over-burdened parents and carers.

It works. And like with the children, I CAN can too achieve even greater things given the well-deserved support.”

– Kaisin Yee

If you would like to sponsor Kaisin on her half-marathon run for I CAN, visit her Just Giving page.