I am what’s known as community learning champion -- a volunteer. By promoting the value of learning to others, either with friends, neighbours, relatives, or work mates, meeting people at schools, local shops or in youth groups or clubs. Champions speak from personal experience and act role models for learning.
I worked as a community support worker in England, Great Yarmouth for a year before becoming redundant due to the government cuts to the public sector. In my job I had coordinated fundraising activities for charities such as YMCA Norfolk and facilitated the active participation of the community for voluntary Norfolk which included: self-management of time, organising meetings and report writing.
In field work, I was commuting around the local town preforming outreach work and leasing with local charities and assisting and helping with the understanding of funding applications for relevant organisations. I set up computer clubs for the elderly to learn how to send emails and talk via Skype. This job was the best and most rewarding job I have ever undertaken and I desperately wish to continue.
I do try to maintain my help and support within the community, but as I have to try find paid employment to support myself I have very little time to do so. Some of the training I undertook was: developed voluntary projects; commissions tendering and procurement; business plans proposals; managing challenging behavior; charity finance and budgeting; safeguarding vulnerable adults and children with The Red Cross;
drugs and alcohol awareness.
Key important skills required from effective community support are the abilities to build capacity that allows the community to share knowledge and resources effectively, organising meetings, events and activities within the local community. To communicate positively while Understanding of the issues, concerns and interests of others without being patronising and to engage with target groups.
Excellent written and oral communication skills including report writing. I also have commitment and enthusiasm, good leadership, motivational and organisational skills and the capability of working both on your own initiative and as part of a team, sincerity, patience and the ability to earn the trust of others with excellent listening skills and confidence in talking to people both in groups and on a one-to-one basis are also necessary
Good luck to anyone else who wishes to pursue a career in this field. Believe me, it is a very rewarding job and makes a big difference. I personally will never give up on my involvement within this sector I just only wish I could do more. Thanks for reading. --Tom