Mission Pulse….. Challenge accepted!

Hi! My name is Amy Lane and I live in the UK. I work for GSK, currently serving as a PULSE Volunteer with Save the Children, however the opinions you read from me here are totally my own:-)

Its been 6 months in the making but 10 days ago I began to embark on the opportunity and adventure of a lifetime.

Firstly I should explain how this came about….

What is Pulse??

The PULSE Volunteer Partnership is GSK’s skills-based volunteering initiative.  Through PULSE, motivated employees are matched to a non-profit organisation for 3 or 6 months full-time, contributing their skills to sustainably solve healthcare challenges at home and abroad.  When PULSE Volunteers return to GSK, they act as catalysts to change the company for the better Read more about it here : Pulse Volunteer Partnership

Its something I am extremely proud to be a part of and I can’t wait to share the journey.

It actually properly started about 2 months ago, finding out which NGO we were partnered with and what our 6 month challenge would be, all the 2016 adventurers met at Pulse “boot camp”.

It was my first real insight into the world of Development and humanitarian aid and it had me hooked from the start. Its so completely different from the familiarity of the scientific world of Research and Development at GSK, that has been my home for the past 8 years!

The 3 day training was great in many different ways:

  1. Firstly finding out what so many people do within the organisation I come from-GSK is vast and its easy to get lost in the day to day activities and not realise the scope of what GSK does
TEPOG team orientation (borrowed from Clement Douault)
TEPOG team orientation (borrowed from Clement Douault)

2. Meeting the Pulse family – some great people from all over the world who are going to be sharing similar experiences  (Shout out to TEPOG teddies )

3.An insight into what to expect over the coming months….. some unforgettable sights, some exciting experiences, some actually quite scary things to consider!

4.Learning about the partnerships GSK has with NGO’s (particularly Save The Children ), so many amazing things being done you can read about it here…..   GSK and Save the Children Partnership

It felt like when you get on a roller coaster and it pulls off, slowly chugging up the rails….you can kind of see what’s ahead but don’t know how it will feel…… pure nervous excitement for the ride to start!

Roller coaster

So on 30th June I said bye for now to my Gene Tox family (sorry for the “soft focus”!) and made my way down to SCUK headquarters in Farringdon. A massive thank you to everyone in GT for supporting my transition and journey so far, I am grateful to have learned a lot from everyone over the years which I am taking with me to SCUK.

Genetic Toxicology Family

 

So challenge accepted:  evaluate a malnutrition reporting tool (CMAM report-community based monitoring of acute malnutrition) which standardises how malnutrition is reported in community based clinics, to help understand where supplementary food products are required to help children recover from malnutrition, to help identify where extra resources may need to be directed and improve the quality of programme management.

The first week was as you would expect finding my feet, getting my head into the mystical world of CMAM which has mainly involved background reading , and introduction courses. The Program Policy and Quality team is a busy one and I appreciate the time everyone has taken to get me settled in and made me feel so welcome ( the level of cake distribution around the office is impressive!)

I am quickly discovering that the development world is anything but black and white, there isn’t always one right answer and it can be a political minefield but its a world I am fascinated by and cannot wait to get delve deeper…. so watch this space!

So much to say ! But I will stop there for now…..are you still awake?? Next week is my “scenario training”, 3 day residential course in preparation for the African field trips….advice so far includes, be prepared to be covered in fake blood, ambushed, don’t laugh, and take extra snacks …..its going to be a colourful few days 🙂   ………..

 

 

Acknowledgements: GIFS taken from giphy.com