As most – if not all – precious participants of Charity Insights reflected in their blog posts, I too cannot believe three weeks have already flown by. I have learned and shared so much on my ongoing journey in the volunteering and non-for-profit sector. Since this post is meant for the reader, whatever brings you to read these words, to get a glimpse of my placement, I thought I’d share the most important and decisive moments I have had so far.
The key week was the second week, which involved lots of networking events where I had the opportunity the exchange thoughts with people from various backgrounds, ranging from hotel managers to social workers. On Tuesday, my colleagues and I attended the local Networking Lunch at the London Business School. This event takes place every other month and allows charities and businesses in the neighbourhood to meet and discuss potential challenges, partnerships or simply browse new ideas. I talked to several local charities with a similar target audience to that of my Wellbeing Project (the development of a new Women Cookery Club at St. Paul’s Church) and got very positive feedback and support.
The following day, Wednesday, was particularly challenging for me, since I had been asked to attend a formal meeting of hotel managers on Baker Street on behalf of Marylebone FoodCycle to discuss ways by which hotels could reduce food waste and support our organisation. It goes without saying that I felt very out of place as soon as I got to the Baker Street Quarter Partnerships headquarters, being only 21 years old. However, I was also thrilled to have such a professional experience and I am grateful for my supervisor Alex to have put her trust in me. The meeting went very well and it was insightful to meet people from the business world and to try to bridge two very different visions.
Both Wednesday afternoons were spent cooking for the Marylebone FoodCycle dinner, where I have met wonderful and passionate people from all over London and beyond, uniting for a great cause, our community meal. The first Wednesday was unexpectedly hectic since not only were we cooking for about 50 people for our own dinner, but we were also providing 100 extra portions for a mosque supporting victims of the Grenfell Tower. A Christian organisation cooking at the West London Synagogue for a mosque, what a better message of love and tolerance could we ask for?
On Friday, I attended a symposium on dairy and health as part of my focus on nutrition for the project. Here again, it was a great way of meeting people from different backgrounds and sharing thoughts. Since then, I have been browsing the web for further nutritional information and project planning, exchanging emails with local charities to meet their community and get advice towards my project.
I will write more about that last bit in my final report, so stick around for that the last blog post !