It was work experience time at my Sixth Form this week and, like most other students, I headed off on Monday morning with a lot of apprehension and worry about how the week ahead would go.

Turns out, there was no need for it.

My work experience placement was in my local MP Liz Twist’s office for five days. I had read articles about what it’s like to be in an MP’s office on work experience. They weren’t very glamorous. It was all making tea and coffee and filing away paper. It was not speaking to constituents, writing to them, speaking to the MP or learning how to best help people in need.

Every article I read was wrong.

I learnt an awful lot on my placement this week. The main thing being that, actually, there’s an awful lot more to an MP’s office than an outsider might think. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what I’d be walking into. And what I did walk into was a surprise. There was lots of correspondence with people in the constituency and a genuine care and passion for working for them and helping them.

What I also learnt was how painful this country is to live in for so many. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon, as it were, and have had my share of needing government support growing up. But that was a while ago. And things are worse now than they were then. More people are using food banks now than ever. But these people aren’t just statistics – they are people. They are people who can’t afford to buy a birthday present for their child’s birthday, or who can’t afford bus fare to get to the job centre, or who can’t get a certain number of points to qualify for a certain benefit even though they are genuinely and obviously unfit for work.

When you watch people accepting food bank vouchers for the first time, it really crushes you inside. When you see people at the lowest point in their life, it saddens you. And what I learnt when I was in my MP’s office is how much change really is needed. I learnt, too, that there is much more going on to make life harder than easier for people in this country.

What I really learnt when in an MP’s office was that Theresa May – or any of the government, for that matter – shouldn’t be sleeping easy at night after what they’ve done and are continuing to do.