December

Youth Connect South West placement

Jacque reflects on the first three months of his year-long placement with Youth Connect South West as a Community Events Coordinator. Shedding light on what his day to day activities are as well as some of the exciting events and projects he has been involved with.

My name is Jacque Garcia, and I began my year-long placement with Youth Connect South West (YCSW) in mid-September. I applied for the role of Community Events Coordinator in the hopes of getting some valuable experience in being a project manager as that’s the area I would like to explore further.  I've already learnt so much in the very short amount of time I’ve been with them.

Since September, I've been involved in setting up and executing two projects from start to finish and I'm currently involved in preparing two Christmas events for December, one of which I am leading the delivery of. As YCSW are a charity, a lot of projects require sourced grants to run their services. This has been an extremely valuable experience in learning first-hand what is required when running and delivering big projects. This includes financial considerations, careful time management, access to resources, networking, and juggling several project workloads. Being able to shadow some of my experienced colleagues during this time has helped me in the planning of my own projects and has proved to be an extremely valuable experience.

When I first started, my first day was spent at a networking event for all the local charities in Bath to meet and showcase their services. My role on the day was to speak to as many charities as possible to look for potential partnerships of programmes and events, or how a partnership could address needs in the community.  I met someone who works across Bath doing a variety of charitable work who is currently helping me set up a programme. This programme is for parents and toddlers who would like a space to socialise with other parents and toddlers in the community, using the great facilities YCSW offers in the heart of Whiteway. The networking event also presented an opportunity to develop a programme for seniors to socialise within the community which is now underway.

Other than events, my job also entails setting up weekly programmes for the community, held at the YCSW base in Whiteway. I've been working with Bath Sheds who focus on raising awareness of the social and health benefits of Men’s Sheds in reducing isolation, loneliness and in empowering local communities. This will be underway at the start of 2022, alongside a Senior Meals club where local seniors will receive free meals and can participate in activities with the aim of reducing loneliness within the local community.

I have gained so much experience and have been really welcomed into the team, being involved in so much already. I feel very trusted with the amount of responsibility they have entrusted in me. Working on projects and being able to work in an office environment has given me thorough insight which I found to be very enjoyable and beneficial.

Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.

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