Madeleine – Intern

Madeleine is a University of Canterbury student, working towards a Master in Writing. As part of her studies, Madeleine was placed in an internship with CRS in February 2022. The agency asked Madeleine to work on their 30th Anniversary Project. This involved interviewing staff and clients and gathering their stories, combining them in what has become a celebration of the organisation’s 30 years in operation.

Before starting the internship, Madeleine was unfamiliar with the agency and the work that they do. She initially felt overwhelmed by the work, as she had had no previous experience in interviewing. Regardless, she was ready for the challenge and wanted to be pushed outside her comfort zone, so she got stuck in.

Over the course of the last few months, she has had the privilege of speaking to staff members and former clients and learning about the inspiring work that the agency does. While some things have been hard to hear, it has been insightful and inspiring for her to learn about how important this line of work is and how huge the demand is.

One thing Madeleine has learnt through her interviews is how wonderful it is to work for CRS. Staff repeatedly said that CRS was like a family, providing a flexible and supportive workplace, something which is a rarity nowadays. Staff turnover is low, a reflection of the good work environment. The work isn’t always easy, and the team have faced many challenges, particularly in the last few years, with the earthquakes, the March 15th attacks and Covid, but each person continues to push forward, putting the communities that they serve at the forefront of their work, regardless of the challenges they face.

Madeleine would like to thank CRS for having her involved with the project. “It has been an incredible experience. I’m so grateful to everyone for sharing their stories, for opening up to me and trusting me with their memories. It has opened my eyes to a whole other world and I feel inspired by the work that CRS do. It will be an experience that I will carry with me for a long time.”  Madeleine would like to wish CRS a very Happy Anniversary.

“I hope they [CRS] continue to thrive. It is clear the work they do is very much needed and has a huge positive impact on people’s lives.”