Work experience at Reverse Rett


This week at Reverse Rett, we have been fortunate to be able to welcome another Work Experience Student from the local High School. 

Harun has been a great addition to our team and has spent the week learning about Rett Syndrome, re-organising the files in the office, putting Action Packs together and learning to design basic flyers and leaflets. 

We are looking forward to next week, when we hope to share more about the science behind Rett and the work we are trying to do to accelerate treatments and a cure for people with Rett Syndrome.

Please read below, a little bit more about Harun and a short paragraph from some of the team members of Reverse Rett about their own work experience placements and the impact their work experience had on each of them.


Reverse Rett Work Experience Student

My name is Harun. I am a student at Chorlton High School. I live in Chorlton. I have an English mum and Turkish dad which  means I have family here and in Turkey. 

I work hard in school and want to achieve my goals at the end of my school life. These goals are to have a good job, either have my own business or be in the science industry.

During my work experience I want to learn more about how Reverse Rett works and how they raise the money as this is a hard thing to do. I also want to learn more of the statistics of this charity as they have done well considering they first knuckled down on this disease in 2010. 

My interests are in  biology, maths, business and food science My hobbies are boxing and rugby. My experience of other charities is that people can raise a lot of money by working together in support of the cause they care about.

Beth Johnsson 

Reverse Rett Events & Campaigns Co-ordinator

My work experience was definitely less ‘work’ and more ‘experience’. I was in Year 9 (formerly known as ‘the third year) when three of my friends and I got chosen to do our work experience placement in Paris, at the Haagen Daaz headquarters. 

We spent our mornings in the offices, doing general admin duties and acting as taste-testers for the latest flavours, and in the afternoons were given a metro ticket and spending money to explore Paris. It was gruelling, but we got through it!

I can’t honestly remember any of the new flavours we tried or any of the actual ‘work’ we did, but I do vividly remember getting lost in Le Louvre, seeing the Mona Lisa, and picnicking in Jardin des Tuileries. As the saying almost goes: ‘Nice work experience if you can get it.’ 

Wesley Havill

Reverse Rett Patient Registry Co-ordinator/In House Design

For my work experience, I was lucky enough to know the HR manager of Sainsbury’s and was offered a placement in the HR department with ease. It was nerve-racking walking into a professional environment, but I was also excited to have a taster of the working world. 

I was given the role of HR Assistant and my first task was to accurately update the store’s employees address book and to modernise how it was managed, which resulted in moving it from the old fashioned Rolodex and onto a excel spread sheet.

I thoroughly enjoyed the tasks I was assigned, as I was aware they were essential to the running of a well-established and successful business. I was also allowed to assist with the marking of competency-based questions on applicants job application forms, which in turn gave me an insight in what is required to write an excellent CV and application form which I am told is what enabled me to get a foot in the door at Reverse Rett.

All in all, I feel that my placement was a valuable and positive experience that helped build my confidence and figure out what my next steps were in regards to my career.

Andy Stevenson

Reverse Rett Fundaiser Care/Clinical Trial Lead

Work experience wasn’t even a thing when I was in school but I did get my first job at 14 in the school holidays. Myself and best mate, Karl got a job watering the greens and new trees at Leigh Golf Club where I spent all my time growing up.  

We got paid £1 an hour and the job entailed driving a tractor to each green (it was in the days before Health and Safety) fitting a hose to the water supply, then sunbathing while the sprinklers did our job for us. We had a radio so we listened to all those classic eighties records by Nik Kershaw, Duran Duran etc., quickly turning it off and looking busy as golfers approached.

We worked with some real characters who were on the green staff at the time. They had some very strange rituals. Roy, the Head Greenkeeper, spent breaks (or bagging as they called it) eating lunch sat in his car. Neil went insane if anyone as much as looked at his paper before he’d read it and Mark (AKA Giraffe,) droned non-stop about Man United and how many pints he’d had the night before. 

Why they allowed Karl and I to work together in charge of a tractor and trailer I’ll never know, but it was a magical time and taught me a lot, mainly about how to handle a harsh work environment with plenty of banter, which has helped me no end with my work at Reverse Rett.

Rachael Stevenson

Reverse Rett Executive Director

I was fifteen when I did my work experience. I did not arrange anything and so I was given a random placement. I ended up in a Special School, quite a long way from where I lived. 

I was surprised by the experience. I had never really met anyone with a disability before and here was a school full of children and young people (4-16) with all different kinds of impairments. I felt as if I had stepped into another world which I never knew existed. 

During my two-week placement, I mainly worked with the OTs, Physios and Speech Therapists. I was most impacted by the children and other young people I met there, many of whom had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. On my first day a four-year-old boy came in with his parents to be measured for callipers. The physio told me that he would eventually be as disabled as the teenage boys who were all in the same room, in a circle, in standing frames and wheelchairs, some with Oxygen tanks.

My work experience had a profound effect on me and this is why I am always keen to give other young people the opportunity.

You never know how an experience will affect someone, nor what they might learn which will set them up for the challenges which inevitably lie ahead.