Wil Law Time to Shine 2015 at brainstrust

Wil Law

How storytelling skills support the growth of a cancer charity – brainstrust

Wil Law graduated with a Masters in English from the University of Leeds in September 2014 and is using his language and storytelling skills to support the work of brainstrust, a charity that helps people with brain cancer. Wil is the charity’s first Time to Shine intern.

brainstrust knew, at the start of the process of recruiting an intern, that they had a great amount of stories to tell. They hoped  these stories would encourage more people with a brain tumour to contact the organisation for help and support and encourage new people to support the charity’s work.

In his start of year report, Wil reports how he is already enjoying the process of getting to know all about the charity’s work:

“I get to speak first hand with sufferers of brain cancer, whether at Meet Ups or on the phone, and discover how the charity has supported them. This been invaluable to my understanding of the condition and has made me all the more eager to publicise what brainstrust do so that it can help more people living with a terrifying diagnosis.”

In his mid-year report in June, Wil notes that he has already been trusted with launching new campaigns for brainstrust; he is particularly pleased to have been told that he has “completely captured the voice of the charity and that my work has made the jobs of every other employee in the organisation easier”.

Manager, Will Jones, is delighted with what the intern has achieved so far:

“… Wil has done a fantastic job of understanding brainstrust’s work, the people we’re helping, their needs and our objectives. He has mastered the technical aspects of the role and is writing creatively and publishing effectively to engage more people with our work. Significantly, Wil has become an important, trusted and respected member of the team. Wil is liked and supported by all at brainstrust.”

At the Time to Shine showcase event at the Rank conference in September, Wil talked publicly about his role as storyteller, how it uses his English degree and allows him to make a difference – he had not expected to have this kind of opportunity so early in his career. He feels that the internship provided a space to make mistakes and to learn.

In his final report, Wil defines his final and most significant achievement as “knowing how much I have helped at brainstrust. Staff regularly tell me how much of a difference my role has made.” He is delighted that he will be staying on at the charity, after the end of the internship.

As part of the support offered to managers of Time to Shine interns, Rank offers access to Action Learning. Wil’s manager, Will Jones reflects on the value of Action Learning to the charity:

“We have seen additional benefit from the Action Learning workshops. They have provided a challenging, and ultimately transformative experience. Action Learning is not only a new ‘tool’ that has helped us solve problems at brainstrust, but the learning process has also brought significant personal benefit. The training has been a catalyst for greater self-awareness and improved emotional engagement with the wider team.”