Category Archives: Charity and Development Work

Employer Case Study – Harbour Housing (Cosgarne Hall Ltd)

Name of Organisation: Harbour Housing (Cosgarne Hall Ltd)

Description of Organisation: Harbour Housing provides accommodation and support for homeless and vulnerable people across Cornwall. We house a variety of people and our aim is to provide tailored support in order to help them to eventually live independently. People stay with us for up to and sometimes over two years in order that they have the chance to really turn their lives around at a pace appropriate to them, often moving through our different properties which offer increasing independence until they are ready to move on.

Name of Employer: Emily Hill

Job Title: Communications Manager

Internship Scheme used:

Graduate Business Partnership (GBP) , Access to Internships (A2I) 

Feedback:

“Our intern became responsible for our social media accounts and oversaw a vast increase in our following and engagement across these channels, including a 37% increase of our Twitter following and a 72% increase on Instagram. She also developed relationships with the press and was responsible for various stories being covered in print and digital media, including appearing herself on BBC Spotlight to represent the organisation. This helped to raise awareness for the charity and established us as a key player in the sector. She also gave presentations to local community groups which resulted in the development and improvement of stakeholder relationships which are really key to the successful operation of the charity.

Our intern helped to coordinate a response through the local media that helped to combat this and safeguard the reputation of the charity. The pandemic was also an unanticipated element to the internship and she responded well through being adaptable and flexible in her approach, taking on different roles where necessary including working on reports for commissioners and funding applications. The GBP also adapted her role during the lockdown period to support with efficient internal communication of information and coordinating a video for our Crowdfunder appeal that raised £1,000.

Our intern proved to be a huge asset to the organisation, creating engaging content for our social media channels and helping us to develop our relationships with the community as well as key stakeholders such as commissioners and members of local government. She excelled at liaising successfully with the press and developing innovative strategies to promote the work done by the charity, including establishing her own projects and seeking out stories internally. She has integrated positively within the organisation, made a lasting difference to the charity’s image and we are glad that she has accepted a full-time role with us which we offered her off the back of her internship.”

Employer Case Study: RAMM

Name of Organisation: RAMM

Description of Organisation: RAMM will enhance people’s quality of life. It’s a place of discovery which encourages everyone to be curious. RAMM uses its local and global collections to connect people to the world and inspires them to shape a better future.

Name of Employer: Sophie Harbour

Job Title: Engagement Officer (Skills Development)

Internship Scheme usedGraduate Business Partnership (GBP) 

Feedback:

“Our intern’s main responsibilities were coordinating the Lost Words Exhibition, ‘What’s on Guides’ and coordinating our school visits programme. He also provided administrative support such as, organising meetings, minute taking, raising purchase orders, providing a central point of contact for the Audience Development Lead.

Our graduate was also a massive help when providing marketing assistance, including researching websites, writing copy, email marketing, implementing marketing campaigns, uploading content to websites. He assisted with the execution of events and activities within the museum and art gallery to include Gerald’s Birthday and the Lates events.

The research skills our GBP gathered from RAMM’s Customer Relationship Management System and booking system as well as from visitor surveys and other sources was completed to a very high standard.

The student was a great member of our team for the 18 months of his internship. He approached his role with enthusiasm and commitment and always had a fantastic ‘can do’ attitude. He also brought a different perspective to our organisation which was really useful when thinking about marketing and social media to our wide range of audiences.”

Employer Case Study: Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Name of Organisation: Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Description of Organisation:

Cornwall Wildlife Trust is one of 46 Wildlife Trusts working across the UK. With the invaluable support of our volunteers, members and corporate supporters we manage over 50 nature reserves, including an island for wildlife and people in Cornwall. We also work with other organisations and landowners to protect and connect wildlife sites across the county and inspire local communities and young people to care for wildlife where they live.

We want to create safe havens in which wildlife can thrive and from which it can spread. We need to inspire people to love and care for the natural environment, and enable more people to experience, enjoy and understand it. We are a charity and rely on membership, legacy gifts and donations from our supporters and on the efforts of our 300 regular volunteers to help us make Cornwall wilder. Our vision is to bring about a Nature Recovery Network to bring back Cornwall’s wildlife.

Name of Employer: Abigail Crosby

Job Title: Marine Conservation Officer

Internship Scheme usedAccess to Internships (A2I)

Feedback:

“Our intern became an extremely valued member of the team, as she efficiently carried out her duties within the Marine Stranding’s Network project. As a result of her work, the project now has a well-recognized and highly followed social media presence including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

She also played a key role in the production of our annual 2019 MSN report. She helped process thousands of MSN records. The student created several monthly Mailchimp newsletters to help communicate with our network of trained volunteers. I also really appreciated the intern assisting me with the training days, it was a massive help. A huge thank you to our intern for her fantastic work.

I would highly recommend the internship schemes The University of Exeter has to offer. The process was fairly effortless and for little administration we were able to support a fantastic student who carried out some incredibly useful work for the Trust. She was a brilliant support to the team, and we are very grateful for her time.”

Student Case Study – Bioregional  

Name of Student:  Lauren Allington

Degree Subject: BA Geography with European Study

Type of Internship: Access to Internships (A2I)

Company Name: Bioregional

Job Title: One Planet Living Intern

Description Of Company: Bioregional was founded as a charity and social enterprise in 1994 by Sue Riddlestone and Pooran Desai, two environmental entrepreneurs based in South London. We provide a range of sustainability consultancy services that make it easier for people to live sustainable lives within the planet’s boundaries by helping major developers create pioneering eco-communities and supporting businesses, including retailers, to create sustainable products and services.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My key role was to support the One Planet Living team in developing a series of online resources available for Bioregional staff and Local Authorities regarding sustainability actions and initiatives across the world. I was also available to assist with wider research and admin projects, as well as contribute to discussions regarding the inclusivity of sustainability.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I produced six complete case studies covering a range of sustainability actions (zero carbon, zero waste, materials and products), a library of 38 case study summaries. These will be added to and used by Bioregional in a series of seminars and will later be available for Local Authorities to use. I also summarised a selection of these case studies in a blog post published on the organisations website. I also produced a research document about sustainability schemes in schools and catalogued the One Planet Living mailing list.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship? 

I was asked to summarize my most important findings in a blog post to be published on the organisations website. I approached this task by reviewing the research I had already done, long listing and then shortlisting the case studies based on the brief for the blog. I then crafted a blog post by summarizing the case studies, highlighting the main features and providing context, as well as writing in the ‘voice’ of the organisation. The final blog post was reviewed by the communications team, who asked me to reduce the word count, which I did successfully. The final post was proofread and adapted by the comms team before being posted online with credit given to me. The post was also advertised on LinkedIn, receiving multiple positive comments and likes.

What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges?

I initially struggled to always find the most accurate information for the case studies. I overcame this by reading more technical and policy-based documents, as well as undertaking active research by contacting organisations directly to find out the appropriate information.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Decision Making
  • Researching
  • Time and Work Load Management

Attributes Developed:

  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  • Confidence
  • Motivation

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“The A2I scheme enabled me to do a really interesting, meaningful and educational internship at a fantastic organisation that would have otherwise been unable to welcome me. I am really happy with the time I spent at Bioregional, especially with the work I produced and the opportunities to speak to professionals.”

Student Case Study- Threshold Housing Link 

Name of Student:  Georgina Pitts

Degree Subject: BA International Relations

Job Title:  Social Impact Research and Project Worker

Company Name:  Threshold Housing Link

Type of Internship:  Access to Internships (A2I) 

Description of Company: Threshold Housing Link is Swindon’s Homeless Charity. We aim to end homelessness in our town and to help vulnerable people create a better life and independence. We offer support in a holistic approach and in a person centred way to local homeless individuals and to those threaten with homelessness.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My key duties and responsibilities during my internship were coordinating NCS social impact projects, being the main editor of the charity’s Facebook page and organisation of the pride campaign. I also attended meetings, interviewed associates and produced newspaper articles.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

The main output I delivered for my employer was being the editor of the Facebook page. This resulted in a partnership with Mindcanyon’s page to raise awareness for World Suicide Prevention Day.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

My biggest achievement on my internship was when I was asked to write several articles for the Swindon Advertiser.

What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges?

Presenting to the NCS students was challenging and put me out of comfort zone, but I made sure I was prepared so it went well.

Skills Learnt 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Leadership
  • Time and Work Load Management

Attributes Developed 

  • Confidence
  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Work Ethic
  • Professionalism

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“My internship experience was very much worthwhile. I experienced what is required to run a homeless charity and operate in the charity sector. I was taught valuable communication skills and witnessed behind-the-scenes aspects of homelessness in Swindon. I was given real and important tasks, and felt my skills and development were important to the company. I would very much recommend the A2I scheme.”

Student Case Study:  The Eden Project

Name of Student:  Max Parkin

Degree Subject: BA History – Cornwall

Job Title:  Research Writer Intern

Company Name:  The Eden Project

Type of Internship:  Access to Internships (A2I)Student Business Partnerships (SBPs)

Description of Company: The Eden Project, an educational charity, connects us with each other and the living world, exploring how we can work towards a better future. Our visitor destination in Cornwall, UK, is nestled in a huge crater. Here, massive Biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants, exhibitions and stories serve as a backdrop to our striking contemporary gardens, summer concerts and exciting year-round family events.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

To research specific briefed environmental/social/sustainable topics for the Eden Project as directed by the Director of Interpretation. To write, summarise and authenticate research documents and storylines with references. And/or to write final copy across a range of media using Eden’s house style and brand guidelines.

Key accountabilities (depending on area the student wishes to gain experience in):
1. To research specific briefed topics using literature searches and by communicating with organisations and experts in the field, working to set deadlines.
2. To write master files (as laid out in the Eden guidelines) on specific briefed topics with full list of references.
3. To write compelling storylines, narrative and content briefs to enable interpretation of specific subjects across a wide range of media.
4. To write final copy for specific exhibits, events, digital and web content and publications using Eden’s house style and brand guidelines.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

The main task for the interpretation department at that time was Eden’s summer content – Earth Story. I was asked to research in detail Megafaunal extinction during the end of the last Ice Age and the potential human involvement. The end result was a detailed document which was then used to help the graphics team produce an extinction timeline which can now be seen in the Earth Story exhibit at Eden.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

I was given a topic I had 0 previous knowledge of – Megafauna. I was asked to produce a detailed research document and became an ‘expert’. My research was verified by Natural History Museum Professor, Adrian Lister and played an instrumental role in producing content which is now displayed in one of Britain’s top visitor attractions. 

What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges?

Initially, it was difficult to get to grips with my task, my progress was slow to start – I made sure to communicate well with Sarah, my boss, and ask lots of questions when I became lost.

Skills Learnt 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Communication
  • Team Work and Collaboration
  • Problem Solving
  • Time and Work Load Management

Attributes Developed 

  • Confidence
  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Motivation
  • Personal Awareness

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“Working with the Eden Project for my internship was highly rewarding, exciting and eye opening. I became an ‘expert’ in a topic I’d never even heard of before, I met some great people and a future career path.”

Graduate Case Study:  Harbour Housing 

Name of Student:  Emily Hill 

Job Title:  Communications and Research Intern

Company Name: Harbour Housing

Type of Internship:  Access to Internships (A2I), Graduate Business Partnerships (GBPs)

Description of Company: Harbour Housing provides accommodation and support for homeless and vulnerable people across Cornwall. We house a variety of people and our aim is to provide tailored support in order to help them to eventually live independently. People stay with us for up to and sometimes over two years in order that they have the chance to really turn their lives around at a pace appropriate to them, often moving through our different properties which offer increasing independence until they are ready to move on.

  1. What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

I established and managed our social media, represented the organisation at partnership meetings, wrote and sent out press releases, acted as an ambassador at events, gave presentations and tours to stakeholders managed the company website and branding, applied for funding and managed projects.

  1. What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I increased our social media following and engagement by over 2,000%, regularly had articles published in local press and trade journals, produced reports for commissioners and brought in funding for the organisation.

  1. What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

The organisation I worked for was a homeless charity, and we found it difficult to move our clients into permanent accommodation due to the reluctance of landlords and lack of funds to cover deposit costs. I applied for grant funding for a project that would solve these issues, and was successful in securing £45,000 for the charity. As a result 20 individuals will now be able to move into their own homes.

  1. What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges?

It was difficult to adapt to not being given instructions and having to use a lot of initiative in managing time and deciding on strategy. This came with time and practice.

  1. Skills Learnt 
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Persuasion
  • Customer Service
  • Ability to work under pressure
  1. Attributes Developed 
  • Researching
  • Networking
  • Initiative
  • Confidence
  • Motivation
  1. Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“Before undertaking my internship I could not really visualise myself in any professional role and wasn’t sure what I wanted out of a career. I have now developed the skills and experience to give me confidence in my own abilities, and the knowledge of the sector to help me in my future development. I also secured a permanent contract with the same organisation which I am very much looking forward to.”

 

 

The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum – Student Case Study 

 

What were your key responsibilities during your internship?  

My key duties included gathering research and data to assist the curator with his plans to bid for funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund (NLHF) as part of his aim to expand and redevelop the museum. I analysed and presented this data using a range of software, including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. This also informed my participation in several staff meetings where I was able to gain insight and contribute my own ideas based on my findings. Specifically, I looked at academics and researchers who had used the museum’s collections to inform their publications/projects since 2017 in order to update the BDC’s database, demonstrating the value of the museum as a resource.  

As well as this, I looked at various other university museums such as, film museums within and outside of Europe to see how they function to engage the community and meet the NLHF’s broader requirements of creative projects, and to see how their strategies could influence the BDC’s future aims. Other key duties included preparing and presenting a talk to a U3A group (roughly 20 visitors) on pre-cinema in the museum’s lower gallery, which was received with much enthusiasm, and assisting the curator with a display for Campus Cinema’s 70th anniversary party, which was also hosted in the museum’s lower gallery. 

 

What was your biggest achievement on your internship? 

My biggest achievement during the internship was using my initiative to map the curator’s annual museum reports 2015-2019 to the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Strategic Funding Framework key requirements of heritage projects (2019-2024). After producing a range of documents for the curator, I decided to tie up this research by presenting the data in a way which directly linked the museum’s existing/past initiatives to the NLHF’s in a way which was visually clear and focused, and which the curator could refer to when writing up his proposal for the funding bid. As commented on by the curator himself, this piece of work demonstrated my analytical skills and ability to use my initiative, under the guidance of the curator, to contribute my own unique strengths and ideas without simply waiting for the next task to be assigned. The documents produced will inform (in part) the curator’s next steps in the museum’s redevelopment. 

 

Summary of your internship experience. 

I honestly could not fault this experience whatsoever. I was lucky enough to have already been volunteering at the Bill Dougla Cinema Musuem on campus since September, and since I am passionate about working within Arts, Culture and Heritage, and having already built up a relationship with the curator, Phil Wickham, I knew that it was the ideal place for me to undertake a four-week internship. Before the internship started, Phil asked me what specific skills I wanted to develop while offering me the opportunity to assist him with the gathering of research and data to support his plans to bid for funds to expand the museum. Having undertaken the relevant module Creative Industries: Their Past, Our Future, as part of my English BA course, I was able to combine my academic studies with real-world practical experience, proving the value of the internship in this way. Further, Phil allowed me to use my initiative and offer my own suggestions in relation to the museum’s redevelopment project, which allowed me to feel like a real part of the team, while allowing me to demonstrate my ability to think creatively and intuitively rather than simply wait for instructions. I am eternally grateful for the encouragement that I received throughout the four weeks, with Phil allowing me to contribute to a variety of staff discussions with my research, as well as pushing me out of my comfort zone by asking me to deliver a short talk to a group of museum visitors in my second week. Though I was petrified, I managed to deliver the talk with a confidence that I did not believe that I had, and Phil is to thank for encouraging me to do something which he knew that I generally struggle with while being supportive throughout.  

 

Would you recommend doing an internship, and why? 

This internship confirmed to me that I have chosen a career path that I am well-suited to. I was excited to go into work every morning, and really did feel like a valued part of the team. Having vowed to never study again following the completion of my dissertation days before the internship started, the experience has made me so passionate to continue working toward an ambitious future career within the creative industries, and I feel so lucky to be able to say that I received an offer from the University of Exeter to undertake an MA in September in Creativity: Innovation and Business Strategy. I am so thankful for this invaluable experience, and would recommend it to anyone. Thank you to the University of Exeter and Phil Wickham for an unforgettable experience. 

The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum – Employer Case Study

Name of Organisation:  The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum

Description of Organisation: The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum is home to one of the largest collections of material relating to the moving image in Britain. We are both an accredited public museum and an academic research facility and we hold a collection of over 85,000 items. Over 1,000 of our items are on display in our Galleries and are available to be viewed by the public.

Name of Employer:  Phil Wickham

Job Title: Curator

Internship Scheme used:  A2I

Employer subsidies (A2I) – Employment Services – University of Exeter

Feedback:

We recruited a Curatorial Intern who researched and produced data to support a planned funding bid and also assisted with other key duties in the museum. The main research task was to assist with funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund (NLHF). This work was completed to a very high standard. She also looked into an array of academic researchers who had used the museum’s collections and got in touch with them about their publications or projects. The intern was confident, organised and hardworking, this showed specifically through her preparation of a talk on pre-cinema in the museum’s gallery. She then went on to present this to visitors which was received with much enthusiasm. The internship went very well. She continued to volunteer for us after her internship and did some really valuable data analysis work on the museum’s visitors that will help us to develop. 

This is an excellent scheme. We have used A2I twice and both times been able to benefit from exceptional talents. We highly recommend taking on an intern from the University of Exeter.  

Quote from Intern:

“I honestly could not fault this experience whatsoever. I was able to combine my academic studies with real-world practical experience. Phil allowed me to use my initiative and offer my own suggestions in relation to the museum’s redevelopment project, which caused me to feel like a real part of the team. It also allowed me to demonstrate my ability to think creatively and intuitively rather than simply wait for instructions. I am eternally grateful for the encouragement that I received throughout the four weeks. This internship confirmed to me that I have chosen a career path that I am well-suited to.”

Devon County Council – Employer Case Study

Name of Organisation:  Devon County Council

Description of Organisation: Devon County Council is the county council administering the English county of Devon which is based in the city of Exeter. The members are elected every four years to reflect the electorate of each county division. Most being nominated by the large national political parties.

Name of Employer:  Nicola Channon

Job Title: Resilience Lead

Internship Scheme used:  GBP

Graduate Business Partnership (GBP) – Employment Services – University of Exeter

Feedback:

The internship process enabled us to recruit an intelligent and capable young person to be part of our Emergency Planning Team. The intern responded effectively to emergencies in the County by having up to date and comprehensive plans, specifically the Coastal Pollution Plan. The information was gathered through site visits and meetings with partners and the data gathered in this way provided. the detail needed to ensure plans are up to date and reliable sources of information. The intern completed all tasks with enthusiasm and diligence.

The graduate completed a piece of work that needed focused effort and would have been difficult to get done otherwise – but that is an important aspect of our work. It was completed to a very high standard.

Our intern has proved to be an interested and effective member of the team. His experience has led to a post with a neighbouring authority which he well deserves.