Blog posts

First Two Weeks at The Brilliant Club: The First Project

My Charity Insights internship is at The Brilliant Club – a charity that aims to increase the number of students from under-represented backgrounds at highly-selective universities in the United Kingdom. The Brilliant Club office is located in the Kensington Centre on Hammersmith road, next to Kensington Olympia. The entire London branch of the organisation is housed in a large open-space office which is shared together with Future First and has a seating capacity of approximately 100 people. My motivation to undertake a placement at this organisation stemmed from my previous experience of working for People In Need – a Czech charity focused on educating children from excluded Roma communities in the Czech Republic, and from my long-held belief that is it through education that growing world inequality should be tackled.

My First Week at Full Fact

Full Fact, the charity I’m currently working at, is an independent factchecking charity that “…provide free tools, information and advice so that anyone can check the claims we hear from politicians and the media.” They do factchecks in a variety of areas from the NHS to student debt, and factcheck claims made during the Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), among others.

While Full Fact factchecks claims in many different areas, they have yet to touch claims/questions made regarding the metaphysical realm, such as “What is life?” or “To be, or not to be?” or “I think, therefore I am.” Such questions are best left to the reader to consult Quora.com, consult a Philosophy professor, or ponder about over lunch.

Team Up – tackling educational inequality

Educational inequality is a huge problem throughout our education system. At primary school, only 1 in 3 children from poorer families achieves the expected levels in reading, writing and maths at age 11. At secondary school, 33% of pupils on Free School Meals achieved 5 A*-Cs at GCSE compared to 60.5% of all other pupils. Of these students, 1 in 4 make it to university compared to nearly double the amount of all other students. These students have a 1 in 1500 chance of making it into Oxford or Cambridge whereas 1 in 20 students from private schools go on to study at these universities.[1]

I’m working with an educational charity called Team Up whose mission is to help end educational inequality by delivering tuition in Maths and English to students from low-income backgrounds.

First week at Marches Energy Agency

It is the 9th of July and it has been exactly one week since I started working in Marches energy agency. Thanks to my previous visits I managed to get used to the working place fairly quickly and made myself comfortable in a nearby accommodation. So overall speaking it’s not a bad start and I’m really enjoying this whole experience.

In case you didn’t know, the charity I am working with (MEA) is an energy charity located in Shrewsbury, it’s an organization full of talented and passionate people who are dedicated to fight local fuel poverty and climate change. My role comes in to research the new green energy applications which can be potentially used by MEA in the future, also to look for new possible services MEA could bring in the future by learning from other bigger organisations.

Marylebone FoodCycle: this is not my last goodbye

So here I am writing my ultimate blog for Charity Insights at the end of my internship at Marylebone FoodCycle. It has been a month full of new encounters, impactful experiences and blissful moments shared with the people I have met on my volunteering journey. I have written my last report and sent the last few emails as part of my project, and it is now time to reflect upon my experience.

Working for Marylebone FoodCycle at St. Paul’s Church allowed me to get an insight into what working for the charity and social sector is like; it gave me a deeper understanding of the dynamics involved in such organisations.

Marylebone FoodCycle: the journey continues

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.

Getting started: first week at Marylebone Food Cycle

It’s Friday afternoon and my first week at Marylebone FoodCycle is close to an end. As I write these words, upbeat music sets the tone at St. Paul’s Church, where Marylebone Food Cycle operates in joint collaboration. Not only a church but also a local community centre, St. Paul’s Church is constantly filled with a vibrant and diverse community, with events ranging from Nordic choirs and guitar lessons to Zumba classes and FoodCycle dinners. This has made St. Paul’s a place I would call home rather than a workplace. Located close to Church Street, it is a complete different London that I have come to experience so far, with a bustling street market and antique shops two steps away from Regent’s canal.

Where Have Previous Charity Insights Participants Been?

As the Charity Insights scheme enters its sixth year in 2017, we thought we’d put together a list of some of the previous destinations for the 80 or so participants who have undertaken projects with charities. If you’re thinking about applying for Charity Insights this year, this list may provide some inspiration – although of course most applicants to Charity Insights approach charities who have not previously hosted an student as part of the scheme!

2016

2015

  • Albert Miquel (Computing, 1st Year) – Lambeth Elfrida Rathbone Society
  • Alhasan Al-Habib (Life Sciences, 2nd)  – Kensington and Chelsea Foundation
  • Anna Lawson (Chem Eng, 1st) – The Long Well Walk
  • Benedict Conway-Jones (Earth Sciences, 1st) – Collegiate Academy Trust
  • Chris Worsfold (Physics, 2nd) – Sense About Science
  • Daniel Gordon (Medicine, 3rd) – Samaritans
  • Farzana Islam (Biology, 1st) – London Tigers
  • Hossein Rezaei (Civil Eng, PhD) – Birmingham Friends of the Earth
  • Jonathan Dong  (Chem Eng, 2nd) – Wild Hearts
  • Mollie Gupta (Life Sciences, 2nd) – Bedfont Lakes Country Park
  • Nathan Cheetham (Physics, PhD) – Carbon Disclosure Project
  • Philip Sayer (Mech Eng, 2nd) – Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability
  • Ryan Sandhu (Civil Eng, 2nd) – FitzRoy
  • Sandra Okala (Medicine, PhD) – Public Health England
  • Scott Tyler Hobbs (Chemistry, 2nd) – YMCA LSW
  • Stephanie Mellor (Physics, 2nd) – Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI)
  • Vaibhav Krishnakumar (Computing, 1st) – Asha for Education
  • Visakan Balakumar (Physics, 3rd) – Centre for Community Development / Tamil Women Development Forum
  • Xenia Karlsson (Life Science, 2nd) – Pro-Cancer Research Fund

2014

  • Rupert Belsham, 1st year Physics, The Passage
  • Nicholas Burstow, 2nd year Medicine, Multiple Sclerosis Trust
  • Jun Cao, PhD Medicine, The George Institute for Global Health
  • Anna Cupani, PhD Chemical Engineering, Sense about Science
  • Isabelle Erbacher, 2nd year Medicine, Rethink Mental Illness
  • Martha Hilton, 2nd year Physics, RECLAIM
  • Rebekah Hodgkinson, 1st year Biology, The Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
  • Clara Hurst, 2nd year Chemistry, Thomas Frederick Willets Foundation
  • Ramandeep Kang, 2nd year Physics, Barnado’s
  • Julia Langer, PhD Medicine, Population Health Genomics Foundation
  • Juha Leppanen, 1st year Maths, Green Alliance
  • Elizabeth Mitchell, 2nd year Biochemistry, British Heart Foundation
  • Chandrika Nair, PhD Microbiology, The Small Piece Trust
  • Lee Pearson, PhD Centre for Environmental Policy, CABI Trust
  • Chun-Yin San, 2nd year Biomedical Science, Sense about Science
  • Jay Shah, 2nd year Physics, British Red Cross
  • Chloe Thorn, 1st year Biomedical Science, British Red Cross
  • Thomas Windle, 4th year Mechanical Engineering, Cornwall Wildlife Trust
  • Kristiana Xhuxhi, 2nd year Biochemistry, RSPB (Wild about Hampstead Heath)

2013

  • Alex Berditchevskaia, PhD Bioengineering, internship at Royal Society Publishing
  • Amira Hassan, second year Biology, internship at KEEN London
  • Ben Fernando, first year Physics, internship at LUCIA
  • Eleanor Angwin, second year Biochemistry, internship at Idea
  • Emily Lehtonen, second year Zoology, internship at The RSPB
  • Frances McFadden, second year Biology, internship at Durham Wildlife Trust
  • Helena Wright, PhD Centre for Environmental Policy, internship at the British Red Cross
  • Lydia Sheldrake, second year Biology, internship at the ACT Alliance
  • Nick Birtle, second year Geophysics, internship at Blue Ventures

If you’d like to talk about Charity Insights and your ideas for a project, book to see us in an Internship Consultation (available four days a week) via JobsLive!

Reflection of my time at HSC

Being back down in London after finishing my internship with The High Street Centre last week, it feels like a good time to reflect on what I learnt.

Having never really been a member of an office team before, I had worries at the start about how I’d fit in. Would I be accepted? Would I look like an out of place student, or manage to grow into my role? On arrival, I was introduced to everyone and shown the basics, settling me in. I got on really well with everyone at the charity,

It was then time to get started on my project.

Summary of placement at the K&C Foundation

Reflecting back upon the first meeting with the Office Coordinator at the K&C Foundation, the primary objective was to raise awareness amongst small businesses in the borough. I am proud to say that I have visited and raised awareness amongst a total of 120 businesses during my time at the K&C Foundation. A total of 70 businesses provided appropriate contact details and were added to the business follow-up sheet, but not all of them were added to the database. During that same time, approximately twenty follow-up phone calls were made. I noticed that the businesses I contacted responded positively and were willing to discuss different ways in which they could get involved.