Category Archives: Charity and Development Work

Volunteer Opportunities Officer – Wheal Martyn

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My role for the week was to create four volunteer role profiles. In order to do this I had to speak to people including: the Museum Manager, Curator, Exhibition and Engagement Officer and the Project Manager to inform these roles. I also created promotional material for the new volunteer roles and amended existing application and induction forms to make them suitable.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

Over the course of my internship I had to arrange meetings with a variety of people both face to face and over the telephone so my biggest achievement was gaining the confidence to talk to these new people in order to complete my work. I think this will be an advantage in any internships or jobs I have in the future as I will have the confidence to speak to a range of people.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

Wheal Martyn have recently been awarded a funding by the Heritage Lottery for a new project called the Clay Works! Project. Due to this, there are many new opportunities for volunteers which need to be communicated to the public. The creation of volunteer role profiles and promotional material will be helpful to Wheal Martyn as these materials will enable the museum to recruit a diverse range of people to become volunteers. Creating these materials can be time consuming and the office is very busy due to the commencement of this new project so the work completed during my internship will help to lighten a small part of the workload the museum currently has.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Communication, research, networking

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Confidence, perseverance, professionalism

 

Volunteering Assistant – Hospiscare

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My main task for the week was to develop a brief and recruitment plan for a new volunteer role to support the HR team. I had a meeting with the HR team members and identified some of their tasks that could be fulfilled by a volunteer. In addition, I identified a new volunteer role that would improve the recruitment process at Hospiscare; I decided that there is room for work in equality and diversity in Hospiscare, and that they needed stronger links between the HR and communications teams. Therefore, I created a volunteer role that would overlap between both areas. I created a recruiting strategy and produced some marketing materials for this, including posters and social media posts. I also did some patient-facing work, including helping out in day care and on the ward.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I was initially very nervous about working in this environment, with people nearing the end of their lives and with bereaved families. However, I overcame this fear during my internship through patient-facing work.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I took some of the workload off the volunteering manager who deals with Hospiscare’s 1000 volunteers. Also, I have created a plan which will lighten the workload of the HR team who told me that they are very busy and would love me to create a new volunteer role which would allow them to focus on more difficult tasks.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Customer service, organisation, focus on goals and outcomes

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Motivation, cultural awareness, creative thinking

Church Intern – Grace Church Truro

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My internship involved theology study and assignments, leadership development training and working with a partner charity of Grace Church, Christians Against Poverty. My key area of responsibility was as a Christians Against Poverty ‘Job Club Coach’, helping those who have been out of work to find their way back to different jobs.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

My biggest achievement was working as a CAP Job Club coach, aiming to help people from low social-economic backgrounds find their way into jobs – it was a challenging and rewarding role.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

Personally I benefited hugely from the theology training and leadership development. I gained a clearer understanding of the types of roles I am interested in taking in the future.

Communications Assistant – NSPCC

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I helped in various projects across all departments of the NSPCC’s communications directorate; Media/PR, Digital, Internal Communications, and Marketing.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

By the end of my internship I was able to confidently contribute ideas in meetings, which really made me feel like I was a productive member of the team. I found that because I was afforded such a wide insight into the company, that sometimes I was able to answer queries and give guidance on areas which other departments were unsure on.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to carry out tasks that lightened the workload of my colleagues. For example, I assisted on a few research projects, researching and analysing the events, marketing and performance of other charities, in which I was able to put my skills as an English undergraduate to good use. I was also able to contribute my own ideas and approaches, such as our social media strategy for some of the NSPCC’s key events and campaigns.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Problem solving, strategic planning, networking

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Initiative, personal awareness, cultural awareness

Social Researcher and Analyst – University of Exeter

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My main role was to undertake research into volunteer motivations and collect together information to be shared with the team at BWRP. This research would then inform my creating of a volunteer questionnaire which would digitally record the opinions of the volunteers about their experience at BWRP. I was then fully inducted as a volunteer at the project, to gain insight into the structure and possibility for future improvement for the induction. I then undertook a week as a volunteer whereby I undertook tasks such as going on timber collections and helping out in the yard.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

My biggest achievement was meeting lots of new people in the sustainability field, and gaining lasting contacts and connections with them.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to complete a report on my findings, along with collecting a lot of feedback from volunteers about their experience. This has helped them to make improvements in the future.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Time and workload management, focus on goals and outcomes, research

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Confidence, logical thinking, independence

STEM Outreach Assistant (Female Role Models Scheme) – University of Exeter, Penryn

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I have been developing current lessons in the box and produce new lessons, and, planning, researching and developing a ‘Green Powered Doll House’ project for big scale events. This project is a brand new project for 2017/18 academic year. I was assisting the line manager at preparing lessons, finding materials and in general and providing a summary report regularly.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I have gotten a lot better in communication both verbally and through email. I have also strengthened my project management skills, organisation skills and subject related skills. One of the outcomes that I am most proud of is the launch of the ‘Green Powered Doll House’ at Royal Cornwall Show 2018.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

My line manager mentioned that I have made a big difference in what they can offer through the college in the creation of new and exciting resources which schools can slot easily into their curriculum. It has filled a gap that she didn’t have time to do to such a high quality herself which has really helped the team.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Leadership, organisation, decision making

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Perseverance, logical thinking, creative thinking

Research and Evaluation Assistant – YMCA

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My main responsibilities included: interview volunteers about their experience of volunteering, interview project managers about the role and impact of volunteers in their project, shadow staff members in all departments to gain insight into their roles and how they interact with volunteers, design and run a focus group with a small group of clients to ascertain the impact volunteers have on them, transcribe and summarise interviews, produce a report about the findings of the interviews, outline findings, make recommendations for future work, and, present the report to key staff members.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

My biggest achievement during this internship was gaining confidence in applying ‘classroom knowledge’ to real life problems and situations. I was able to see the project through from start to finish, which has given me confidence in being able to describe hands on experience in interviewing, research and evaluation.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to complete a project that the employer had wanted to carry out for some time (but had previously been unable to), providing research and evidence that has a multitude of uses. They will be able to use these findings to potentially make changes to their volunteering processes, and as evidence in applying for grants.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Problem solving, leadership, IT

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Perseverance, personal awareness, professionalism

Animal Care Assistant – RSPCA

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

Monitoring the welfare of all animals in the care of the RSPCA Cornwall branch. This included dogs of many different breeds, cats, and wildlife. I was also responsible for maintaining a high standard of cleanliness in various kennels and cages. I helped to carry out health checks, pre-adoption checks and sat in on vet rounds. I was also involved in enrichment for the animals, which involved walking the dogs and playing with the cats and kittens.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I was able to learn what it was really like working in the animal sector, which has really helped me to think about my future career. I feel I became more independent over the course of my internship, finding I was able to take initiative if faced with a problem.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

The staff are stretched very tightly at the moment and I feel I was able to make the hours when I was there less stressful for them. Some days I was responsible for cleaning entire blocks by myself which meant that the member of staff who would usually do this was able to sort out any problems or urgent paperwork.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Ability to work under pressure, organisation, time and workload management

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Initiative, independence, work ethic

Data Analyst – Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Exeter

SCP, SBP, GBP, A2I

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

These included analysing data from their recent wellbeing survey, specifically exploring gender and age differences and summarising my findings in a report.  I also provided recommendations on how to improve the survey. Once this was finished, I helped with research into local estate agents (specifically whether they were adhering to new laws) and trends in Universal Credit claims.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

Being able to work independently and successfully manage my time.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I helped with research (on estate agents) and provided a comprehensive report of their survey findings.

 

Junior Mental Health Support Worker – South Somerset Mind

stress

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My main responsibilities were to develop and deliver mental health well-being workshops across Somerset. This involved teaching service users about different aspects of mental health and providing them with various coping strategies. Within this role I also gave 1-2-1 well-being checks, carried out risk assessments, and provided telephone support and signposting to other agencies. The remainder of my time was spent on data entry: updating notes on services users and compiling data for reports. Additional roles included  designing my own session plan using research from third generation therapies, and creating and teaching mental health lessons in a local secondary school.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

The experience was totally eye opening, I learnt more than I could ever have imagined! It was brilliant to be able to put my Psychology degree into practice and begin to understand the realities of mental health.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I brought fresh knowledge and ideas to the team, which were utilised. I also lightened my colleagues’ workloads and saved company expenditure.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

Initially I did not have enough work to keep me busy. I promptly spoke to my line manager and she was able to give me more responsibilities and encouraged me to independently take my ideas forward by designing a new session plan for the well-being groups.

“It was very useful to have Kate. She did a great job and we have now offered her a full role” – CEO, South Somerset Mind.