I’ve recently been to the monthly Bristol Green Mingle with Charles and Fi. It was the first time I’d been to a mingle and I didn’t know quite what to expect – but unsurprisingly, it was just people (specifically Bristol’s greenies) drinking, eating and chatting. I met an interesting mix of people including local MPs, an ecologist and the director of the Bristol Green Capital initiative (who’s become a local hero after Bristol won the European Green Capital Award earlier this year). As well as being an enjoyable, relaxed and interesting evening it was also very useful – I gained a few handy contacts who seemed to know something (if not a lot) relevant to my internship project.
I’m now 2 weeks into my internship with The ACT! Alliance in Bristol. The ACT! Alliance is a newly set up campaigning organisation which differs from those that already exist in that it seeks to pool the efforts and resources of existing organisations to gain strength for change, rather than all working in an isolated and fragmented way. Importantly, ACT! does not compartmentalise the issues that we face, seeing that the deteriorating environment, the faltering economic system, failing politicians and poverty are all interlinked, and so are the solutions. Broadly, ACT! campaigns for sustainable development in environmental, economic and social systems.
So I’m coming up to the end of my first week. It’s actually been really good!
Yesterday I went to one of the trustees’ meetings and had a quick chat about some of my ideas (they’ve been in the pipeline for about a year, so a lot longer than the placement). They seemed really enthusiastic about them, and how the charity is going to be moving forward. I would really recommend working with a smaller charity – there are only 8 trustees of LUCIA so I actually feel like they value my input and will consider my suggestions seriously.
Other than that, I’ve done some initial research into the stoves project and how to apply for funding.
So I’m just on lunch break for my first day at work! I’m at LUCIA (Life Uplifted by Change in Africa), a small Birmingham based charity that works with women and children in Ethiopia. I’ve been working with them for a while now doing fundraising, and I decided to do Charity Insights so that I could get more involved with the research and problem-solving skills that they do. You can find out more at http://www.luciacharity.org.uk/
So far I’ve had the usual introduction and health and safety talk, and discussed my project with my supervisor. Initially, I’m going to be looking at how to get funding for the grassroots projects that they’re looking at in Rural Ethiopia.
The first of the Charity Insights participants started their internships last week & Eileen and I are delighted to see the blog posts starting to come in. We are really looking forward to hearing more about everyone’s internships.
We have another participant to announce – Will Prince, third year Physics who will be doing his internship at The Big Issue Foundation.
Just before the end of term we ran a preparation workshop for our participants. This was a great chance for all the interns to meet each other and to hear about the projects that they will be embarking on!
It has been such a busy week here at KEEN!! I have enjoyed every bit of it so far! Just to give you a small insight on KEEN London. It is a charity that works with special needs children and provides a safe environment for them to socialise by organising recreational events, sports sessions, arts and crafts and so much more! It runs thanks to the enthusiasm and participation of many volunteers, that spare a couple of hours on a Sunday to enjoy themselves and make a kid smile!
I have been volunteering for KEEN myself for over a year, and that is when I realised I wanted to help out more!