A City student has generated social impact and supported adults with learning disabilities as part of the Micro-Placement Programme.

By Matthew Little (Communications Officer), Published

Paulina Samasova, (BSc Sociology with Psychology), has gained vital career experience working at PiP (Pursuing Independent Paths), a charity which supports adults with learning disabilities or autism to develop skills for independence.

The Micro-Placement Programme at City, University of London offers students an exciting way to gain professional experience via short summer placements with a wide range of London-based employers.

Over the past year they have placed 120 students on Micro-Placements across all of their programmes.

Paulina Samasova, (BSc Sociology with Psychology) works with staff at PiP's Christmas charity event.
Paulina Samasova, (BSc Sociology with Psychology), supports PiP at their Christmas charity event.

Since completing her Micro-Placement, Paulina was offered a part-time role at PiP, working within their fundraising team, helping the charity secure and process donations, organise events and communicate their key messages.

“I have been doing a lot of exciting work at PiP,” said Paulina. “One of our most important projects is the Big Give Christmas Challenge which starts on Tuesday 30th November and coincides with Giving Tuesday.

“This is where PiP are aiming to raise £10,000 to develop their employment programme and fund an accessible kitchen for their new building. This is a great campaign as every donation PiP receives will be match funded!”

Pip currently works with 56 students, all over the age of 18 with a wide range of learning disabilities including Down Syndrome, Autism and rarer conditions such as Fragile X Syndrome.

Since starting her role in person, Paulina has had opportunities to work with the students.

“I really enjoy working and speaking with PiP’s students during their classes or on their breaks,” said Paulina.

“One specific thing that I learned from the students is Makaton. This is a form of sign language which uses signs and symbol to communicate”

“I have joined a couple of Makaton lessons alongside the PiP students, and they have tried to teach me themselves, so I am not left behind!”

Paulina, who is now in her third year at City, is also City’s Students’ Union’s LGBTQI+ Liberation Officer, where she has helped establish a safe community for LGBTQI+ students.

Keeping social impact at the heart of her work, she aims to keep continue working within the non-profit sector when she graduates.

It is important for me to feel like I am making a social impact in my work, and at PiP I have been able to do that.

I see myself working in the third sector or going into politics or governance for charities. At PiP I feel like I have been able to develop a clear idea how a non-profit organisations work in the UK, which will be vital for my career.

I would encourage all students to look into the Micro-Placement Programme at City. All the workshops and seminars help you identify the next steps in your journey and it can open many doors for you and show jobs that you haven’t thought about.

– Paulina Samasova, (BSc Sociology with Psychology)

For more information see the Micro-Placement Programme at City.

To donate to PiP see their Big Give Campaign or for more information see their website.

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