Iona joined us for a week- long placement in March 2017. Read about her time working as a Fundraising and Communications Assistant with the team here in Bakewell. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with Village Aid, we have a number of exciting opportunities for placements and long-term volunteering roles. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
I’m currently studying Politics and International Relations at the University of the West of England in Bristol and am hoping to complete a Masters in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies. Studying International Development as part of my degree has really opened my eyes to the injustices that occur globally and within Africa in particular.
I’ve been thinking International Development as something I want to pursue as a possible career when I come out of education and I wanted to get some sort of idea of what sort of work I could be doing and the different roles within an international development charity. I was also really keen to get involved in a small charity where you can really see the impact that is being made at a community level. I came across Village Aid’s website and read about the diverse projects that they’re involved in and the huge amount of people that they help, so I emailed them about the possibility of a work experience placement.
This week exceeded my expectations and more, it’s undoubtedly the most useful work experience I’ve done. Village Aid has been so incredibly helpful and friendly from the outset, arranging phone calls and sending me packages of information about what they do before I started. They asked what I’m most interested in, what I’d like to get out of the week, and created a timetabled work plan of what I could be doing.
I feel like my placement’s been taken seriously at Village Aid and have felt that I’ve really been a part of the organisation. I was given a proper induction presentation, introduced to everyone in the meetings I listened in to, and have been given meaningful tasks that have helped me to develop a variety of different skills. During the week, I’ve been working within the fundraising office with various responsibilities such as; researching challenge events to enter and contacting the relevant people, approaching local business to collect raffle prizes, writing blogs, developing and updating content for the website, creating various databases of contacts and listening in on interesting meetings about projects and Village Aid’s strategy in the next financial year.
At the end of the week Village Aid went through everything I’d done and helped me develop it into skills to put on my CV which was really useful. I feel like they understood that I wanted to gain some experience and learn more about the field rather than just lumping me with pointless tasks and me feeling like I’m in the way. I’m leaving feeling like I’ve got everything possible out of my short time here and it’s been incredibly advantageous for anything I want to do in the future.
Thank you Village Aid!