It's not often that an opportunity comes knocking that allows you to use a variety of skills and interests to lend a hand to a great cause - whilst also boosting your CV. When such an opportunity came up I jumped at it.
As Communications Officer for Cycling Development in Reading, I'm responsible for documenting and advertising events that the charity puts on throughout our community by using my journalism and marketing skills.
Being a student of both disciplines, I am hoping to put what I have learned in the classroom to practical use in the professional world. My work might include working closely with local government officials, as well as cycling enthusiasts in and around Reading.
I'm from a country that doesn't encourage cycling - neither as a form of transportation or exercise. This is somewhat due to geographical spread of my hometown in the United States, but mostly due to the lack of support from local government and proper infrastructure to support cycling. I hope to be able to take what I learn from my position with CTC back with me to improve cycling in my hometown.
Naomi Davies, Media Officer for Cycling Development in Reading and fellow student at the University of Reading, is equally excited to begin her work experience with CTC. Naomi says: “Working as a Media Officer will give me the opportunity to strengthen my creative skill set and will allow me to build up a diverse portfolio. This position is a fantastic first step on the career ladder for me and I can't wait to get started!"
How the two volunteering opportunities came about
The two positions of Communications and Media Officer were created by Javed Saddique, the CTC Cycling Development Officer for Reading. Javed was looking for a way to support a recent initiative that started in Reading: Building a Better Future for Young People. The funding for the project is coming from Reading Borough Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF). Reading Borough Council was awarded £20.7 and £5 as part of two bids and CTC is now working alongside the Council to deliver sustainable travel access in Reading.
If the project is successful in promoting cycling, there's the possibility that this type of volunteering opportunity for students may be introduced in a number of towns and cities where CTC delivers cycling projects.
What we're hoping to do
Naomi and I are looking to use our skills to inspire and influence other Reading University students to take up cycling, especially through the use of volunteers.
Wish us luck!