Category: 2017 Charity Insights

Au Revoir

I concluded my 4 weeks at Full Fact a few days back, and as cliche as it sounds, I had enjoyed every minute – including the daily bus commute – of it.

We had built on my predecessor’s work, integrating together the three different stages of the automated factchecking process that we had decided on. Though 4 weeks isn’t a long period of time – considering that Imperial’s academic terms are 11 weeks long (from week 0 – yes, week 0 – through week 10) – it was interesting to see how our project had developed from start to finish.

The ‘strong and stable’ bridge which I had mentioned in my previous post(s) was crucial in integrating the first and third stage of the automated factchecking process.

Why not join Team Up yourself?

Sadly, my time at Team Up has come to an end. I successfully completed the progress and baseline assessments mentioned previously and started the long process of updating the lesson materials. This involved mapping the lessons to the key learning points on the syllabus and finding example exam-style questions for each lesson. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to implement many of the changes I identified. However, whoever takes over the task in the future has a set of detailed notes and instructions regarding what changes need to be made.

I learned a lot from my time at Team Up: I experienced working in an office environment, I worked collaboratively in a small team and individually towards the end of the internship.

Candle in the Wind

My last week at Nesta. Queue the classic “Time flies!” and “It feels like it was only yesterday when I arrived” and “We’re all going to die someday” clichés. It was a week of many “lasts”: the last catch-up with my supervisor, my last lunch with the interns, the last time I logged into my Nesta email, the last time I had a glass of water at the office… Okay, I’m getting too nostalgic.

The end of my internship consisted of me scrambling about trying to finish up all the little projects I’d been doing over the past month. It was both satisfying and sad (and stressful) adding the finishing touches to my reports with the tight deadline of Friday afternoon, which kept inching closer.

A dream for a better Healthcare system

The first two weeks have flown by at Healthwatch Bolton and I’m happy to say that I’ve managed to settle myself on a desk space that is usually free. In this time, I’ve been reborn as a coffee gremlin. It really doesn’t help when there is a funky coffee shop right around the corner!

In the office, I’ve hopped from desk to desk to shadow the in-house community engagement officers and research officers. Developing my understanding of research at collection and analysis was essential for me to start designing a project plan.

On my third day in the office, a visit to the BRASS (Befriending Refugees and Asylum Seekers) Bolton Centre and a review of past case notes captured my attention towards the under-represented and growing refugee population in the Bolton borough.

The Last Days at the K&C Foundation

My final couple of days at the K&C Foundation has been an eventful one. Nearly 7 weeks after the Grenfell Tower fire and cheques are still coming in. What I now like to call MY cheque database is looking very hefty and it was a sad day on Thursday when I had to teach my colleague how to use it again, as I have been in charge of it for so long. A couple of very exciting donations came in this week as well- the biggest I’d seen yet! It is very shocking to have a colleague shout ‘Charlotte you have to read these numbers for me, I just can’t believe what I’m seeing.’, and to then read that EasyJet’s flight collection had raised over £200,000 for the Grenfell Tower Fund!

Breaking into a vicarage, chatting with Yorkshire-folk and walking a dog

My internship so far has consisted of three days spent in Bedale, and seven days work at home. Firstly, it was important that I fully understood what was required of me by St Gregory’s Church and the community. The Church is undergoing a huge redevelopment program, with an aim to make the space more versatile. My roles are the following:

  • Design a new wordpress based website, with a heritage section allowing interactive ‘drone-eye’ exploration of the grounds
  • Design websites for three charities working in the town, namely: a foodbank, debt advice service and bereavement befriending service
  • Write document for Church of England proposing technology installations to the interior of The Church.

My first day at Surfers Against Sewage

Today I started my internship at Surfers Against Sewage, a Cornwall based charity focused on improving UK water quality and the reduction of single use plastics, as well as broader issues such as marine conservation and climate change.

Having just launched their new project ‘Plastic free Coastlines’, a positive response to an accumulation of plastics with an area of 5x the size of the UK (newly branded ‘Wasteland‘), there is a vibrant and energetic atmosphere in the office. The project aims to engage communities and businesses in the problems that Wasteland is creating, and provides a free action plan, inspiring you to ‘join the resistance’. I’ll be tasked with public engagement at the infamous Boardmasters festival next week, hoping to collect , collate and report on data from the public, and signing up as many people as possible to this effective response to a very important issue.

Looking Forward with The K&C Foundation

My second and third weeks at the K&C Foundation have seen the office attempting to look forward from the Grenfell Tower fire and move back to normal, but with around 10 cheques still arriving daily, the fire is definitely at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

I started week two continuing to work on my ‘Big Donors’ List, which would allow the foundation to plan for the future and efficiently be able to recognise those who have been especially generous and make sure that they had been thanked. The data that the foundation receives from the different mediums of donation is often cryptic and required a certain amount of detective work to make sure that donors were thanked for the correct amounts.

Professional Working Adult

I guess I’m a professional working adult now.  I have a 9 to 5 schedule (being able to relax after work and not have to study pleases me), I commute on the tube at peak hours (and eavesdrop on busy businessmen’s conversations) and I get to tell people I work in Temple (like a hotshot lawyer in a TV series).

Not pictured: the businessman who looked at me weird for taking this photo

These middle weeks have been where I’ve done the bulk of my work. I wrote a news report on digital democracy, did an extensive literature review on data economy, and compiled about 10 case studies on different enterprises from around the world.

Macmillan Weeks 1-2

Macmillan Cancer Support are a charity that aims to improve the lives of people living with cancer in all aspects of  life – from diagnosis, through treatment and living with cancer and even end of life. They have been growing at a rapid rate over the last few years and so you’re pretty much guaranteed to see them around! If you want to find out more information about them, whether it’s to fund raise for them or simply explore their values, the link is here: https://www.macmillan.org.uk/

My internship is based in their office at Albert Embankment, Vauxhall in their technology department – their first ever intern!