Amy reflects on the three weeks she spent with Village Aid in July 2017 as a Fundraising & Communications Volunteer
As a Geography student at The University of Sheffield, international development is something that I am passionate about so I joined the ‘Friends of Village Aid’ society to find out about the impacts a local charity has had. The seminars that I attended gave me a real insight into how community-led projects can impact deprived communities and gave me the drive to get involved in the society more. I became the societies’ Publicity Officer in charge of the social media accounts, trying to raise awareness of Village Aid through The University of Sheffield.
This summer, I wanted to gain some experience in the field to see the different kinds of roles that I could be doing in the future if I am to pursue a career in international development. Due to my engagement with the Friends of Village Aid society, I felt that it would be really beneficial to work in the Bakewell office so I began my three weeks of volunteering at Village Aid in July. A timetable and plan of work was created for me which reflected my interests and what I wished to get out of the placement.
I feel that I have made significant contributions to the organisation in my short time here as I have worked on developing case studies for Village Aid’s Senegal project which I have then used to write thank you letters to donors. I have been involved in the Harvest Appeal and scheduling social media posts for the next year has also been a big part of my experience; I have also published a blog post for the website to go alongside a social media post, called “World Youth Skills Day”.
Another aspect of my work has been to create a recruitment strategy for the Friends of Village Aid society for the new academic year. Organising a charity football match for members of the society to play against the North Wales Dragons has been a large part of this and I hope this event will raise a large sum of money for Village Aid as well as attract students to join the society.
Finally, I have also been able to utilise my design skills by adding to this year’s Annual Review, making some of the key pages look more engaging to the readers. The infographics that I have designed will be used throughout the year in different formats to engross potential and existing donors.
The work that I have been involved in has really opened my eyes to the different opportunities there are within the international development sector and I feel like I have gained valuable skills to progress into the sector with.
Thank you Village Aid!