Hello my name is Louise. I am currently studying MA Conflict, Security and Development at University of Sussex. Previously I was a volunteer at the Trust for Developing Communities (TDC) supporting BME wellbeing across Brighton and Hove. This experience was rewarding as it gave me great insights to how TDC carries out community development work across the city. This has led me to wanting to support their work further and now I am working at TDC as an administrator.
As part of my study, I was interested in learning and gaining experience of how community development approach is used to build, develop and strengthen community cohesion.
I came across TDC whilst looking for volunteering opportunities in Brighton and Hove. I had always thought volunteering was merely a nice addition onto my CV. However, my volunteering experience at TDC has completely altered my impression of volunteering.
Volunteering one day a week since March 2018, I learnt about the incredible work of many statutory, community and voluntary organisations. I gained insights into challenges these groups and organisations face on a daily basis, and how they work together to support the wellbeing of our community and ensure community cohesion.
My volunteer highlight so far was working on the BME wellbeing event, A Way A Day, held at BMECP on Wednesday 18th April. Prior to the event I researched how to reach and where to advertise the event in order to attract the attention of BME residents. This was really interesting and useful because it taught me about reaching people of BME backgrounds we are not in contact with.
Around 400 people attended the A Way A Day event representing a wide variety of service providers and social groups from different ethnic backgrounds. Through a range of activities, groups and organisations were able to ensure community cohesion, and promote available services for improving health and wellbeing, including where to find help and how to access support.
These all would not have happened if it were not for all the individuals and groups who volunteered that day, making it a joyous celebration of Brighton and Hove rich diversity!
By Louise Yu, former TDC volunteer on the BME Communities Wellbeing Project and now TDC administrator.
Find out about current volunteering opportunities at TDC alongside our BME worker.