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GCT Providing Work Experience for Young People: George and Ellen Spend a Week with us

George's Story

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Gosforth Civic Theatre and Liberdade over the week, being involved in a wide range of tasks and jobs which have taught me a lot about the charity side of businesses. I first became interested with this placement when my dad was made a member on the board of trustees, I started volunteering on Tuesday nights setting up gaming equipment ready for their weekly Gaming Night. My interest in the business led me to approach for a weeks work experience placement, with the idea to see how the business is ran and away from the customer eye.

I started out on Monday in a board meeting, which was discussing the finer details of their new project and design of the building, showing the importance of looking at finer details of the design such as where plug sockets are and how to make toilets as accessible as possible with it being a café who welcome everyone. On Tuesday I spent the afternoon working in front of house getting to know all the staff and even learning how to make coffee’s, something I’ve never done before. It taught me the importance of providing a good service and making sure customers are always happy, something I’ve learned from past jobs. In the evening I set up the gaming equipment and stayed around to talk to some of the people who attend.

On Wednesday I sat in a meeting with Scott and Helen, discussing the importance of keeping all events and their details in one place on a spreadsheet rather than keeping it all over the place, where from there I completed some data entry to help get started. Thursday afternoon I shadowed a meeting with Rob talking to a member from Lloyd’s bank foundation, talking about current and past revenues due to covid and what is needed from them in the form of a grant. After that I spent the afternoon setting up for their sell-out show, which was very busy. From 7pm people were showing up and I was ushering guests to their seats, the show was great to see.

Friday morning was spent with Liberdade, tiring me out doing activities such as dance, yoga, HIIT, and a few games at the end. Everyone there was lovely and very funny, and I would love to be able to see them all again.

Overall I have enjoyed the wide variety of opportunities I have been presented with, and learned that the business industry is definitely one I would like to go further into, hospitality not so much but you always need to start somewhere. All of the staff customers and members of Liberdade have been so welcoming and tried really hard to make me feel comfortable, something they have succeeded to do, I am so glad this is a café right on my doorstep and I will be here often from now on. Maybe even returning for a job in the future.

Ellen's Story

For the final week of the summer term, I was very fortunate to have embarked on an incredibly new experience. GCT being the place where I had the opportunity to learn about the fascinating yet surprisingly complex ins and outs of a local theatre. Despite my absolute lack of any experience in a workplace, I was greeted by a dozen friendly faces who were all profoundly friendly and supportive towards me and I feel very lucky to have been in such an amiable atmosphere. Moreover, the week has taught me so much interesting knowledge of different professions that I otherwise wouldn’t have known!

To start the story of how I was able to spend this marvellous week at GCT, it dated back to March where I found myself in a baffle as to what to do for my work experience placement. Then, as a few weeks progressed, I made a list of potential places to work that consisted of theatres and museums as, simply, I like music and drama. However, I was still somewhat stumped with so many pandemic restrictions still around until me and my mum came up with the idea of seeing if the Civic Theatre were willing to take me on for work experience. 3 weeks of back and forth and success!

A few months would go by of regular old school, exams, et cetera. Yet time flew, and the week commencing on the 18th July finally arrived...

Monday morning seemed slightly daunting as I was stepping out of a comfort zone and into something brand new. However, I was pleasantly surprised by a warm welcome from Scott, Helen, Danny, and Rob as I sat in meetings that morning. In the afternoon, I learned from Rob how a charity works plus the reason behind the large King Bee art on the outside of the building to which I had always been curious about and how marketing works from Scott.

Tuesday was the day where temperatures soared to 36°C but I did have a super fun day in the café where Rhiannon taught me how to make my first latte and we even spent the boiling afternoon with the fun of experimental iced tea! Each day was a new experience and Wednesday was no exception where I had the luck of spending a morning with Liberdade in their active session which was ensued by an afternoon of movie set up with Scott. Now you may hear setting up a projector as perhaps not the most interesting aspect but I found it highly intriguing with all the parts that had to work and how technology has somehow evolved to be too smart for itself – I very much enjoyed learning about the problem solving required for a film to play.

Thursday morning was rather relaxing as I watched Paddington (a hilarious film must I add) with a group of middle schoolers and the afternoon was spent with Scott navigating the interesting web of marketing in action. Furthermore on that day, I was fortunate to meet David who taught me a lot about lighting and effects which I hope to study more especially in their relation to theatre. On Friday, I was able to see a proper music gig be set up and it was intriguing to watch a proper sound check happen (live) for the first time! Finally, on Saturday, my week was drawing to a close.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the past week and I’ve truly learnt a lot from working in a place that really piqued my interest. It has also solidified my hopes of going on to study theatre and/or film directing. It’s been a fascinating week and I would like to thank all of the staff for being kind and understanding (also thank you Dyonne for making the most delicious burger I’ve had in quite a long time); a valuable experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life.


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