Second year University of Leeds Music student Rory Heron discovered the charity People in Action through the University Union’s Volunteering Fair in his first year and now works as a support worker.
Rory Heron (left) with Ruben Martini
Read how his interest in music and community work has led him to setting up a music project with People in Action and support from LUUMIC Leeds University Union Music Impact in the Community
The charity- People in Action
I found out about People in Action and the support they provide for people with learning disabilities and autism at the University of Leeds volunteering fair. I decided to volunteer for this charity because I was eager to make a difference in the Leeds community during my time studying music at university, and I’ve always been interested in improving the quality of life of people with learning disabilities.
Volunteer to paid support worker
After engaging in voluntary work at various community groups, I was offered a paid role as a one-to-one support worker for an individual with a learning disability who was passionate about music and wanted to start a band. I assisted them in the process of communicating with some of his peers about starting a band, and once we found some people who were interested, we began meeting up and creating music together using the facilities at the university’s School of Music. The band were given opportunities to perform live at events that People in Action were organising, such as the Leeds Young Talent Show. The band received such a positive response from these performances, inspiring others to not let their learning disabilities get in the way of them pursuing their dreams.
Setting up a music project
It then occurred to me that I could set up my own community music project with People in Action that would allow young adults with learning disabilities to collaborate and make music together in a fun and relaxed environment. I realised that I could get volunteers from LUUMIC Leeds University Union Music Impact in the Community to help run the sessions, through my position on the committee. I discussed the details of the project with the People in Action office staff, university staff members and the LUUMIC committee about setting up the project. In September 2018, the project was officially up and running every other Sunday using the School of Music’s ensemble rooms. Since then, I have been recording some of the music created during the sessions and uploading them to YouTube as the Sunday Band Project
Rhiann (2nd from right in second row) during her ICS placement in Senegal.
Rhiann has just completed her English & Sociology degree at Leeds and is now undertaking a graduate internship with Leonard Cheshire Disability. In this post she discusses the value of taking a placement year and what she’s learnt about managing a health condition and choosing if and when to disclose a health condition or disability to an employer.
My current role
I work at the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability as a Corporate Partnerships Assistant. I am part of their Change100 internship scheme, which partners disabled students/graduates with top employers around the country. My job involves leading a proposal for £150,000 worth of funding to develop gardening programmes for the disabled people we support. I recently finished my English and Sociology degree at Leeds, which I combined with a placement year through the Careers Centre. I would really encourage students to make the most of the careers support available at Leeds. The range of opportunities they offer is fantastic, and this was how I discovered Change 100. Continue reading
This is the 2nd post in our 3-part mini series outlining 3 key ways LinkedIn can help you find potential employers, whether this be for jobs, experience or placements.
This post outlines how you can use the company search feature to identify employers by location and sector. Part 1 of the series outlines how the advanced people search function can help you identify potential employers.
Whether you’re looking for experience, placements or a graduate job, it can sometimes be hard to identify potential relevant employers. This is particularly so if you’re looking outside of the large multi-national organisations. Opportunities with other types of employers, or in other sectors, may not be as widely advertised, and many people actually find jobs and experience by pro-actively approaching employers of interest on a speculative basis. In this 3-part mini series, we’ll show you 3 easy ways you can leverage LinkedIn to identify potential employers of interest.
You may be interested in a particular sector/s and location/s. This is a great, and useful, starting point to begin researching potential employers. LinkedIn is one of many ways you can start to do this. Continue reading
Jess is a psychology student here at Leeds. Here she tells us about her placement in the charity sector, how she found it, and offers valuable pearls of wisdom for anyone wanting to do the same….
Hi, I’m Jess and I study Psychology at the University of Leeds. I enjoyed my first 2 years of study but after some consideration realised that I may not want to go into a career specifically related to psychology. In an effort to gain some experience in an area of work outside of psychology I started applying for placements to undertake in my third year. After some consideration I decided that I wanted to focus my search on a placement within the charity sector. Continue reading
Last month Liz Wilson, CEO of Supporting Kids in Peru (SKIP) visited the University and gave a really insightful presentation on tips and advice for those interested in getting into the International NGO sector. In particular she covered some key points to consider if this is something which interests you, which I’ve summarised in this post.
Understand the issues:
The NGO sector, by its nature, is complex and challenging. International NGOs, or INGOs, in particular are often criticised for doing more harm than good. People and organisations usually have the best intentions, but you need to ensure that you’re informed and understand the implications of what you are doing. Liz highlighted 4 areas, with examples, to examine when you are looking at NGOs and their work to help you assess their value and the implications of what they do. Continue reading
Jessica Hudson (History, 2012) is a Partnerships Manager in the Retail Team at Cancer Research UK after having completed their graduate scheme. In this post she shares her experience of getting into the Charity sector as well as her advice for others interested in doing the same.
I’m Jess and I studied History at the University of Leeds from 2009-2012. I enjoyed 3 amazing years in Leeds, where I seemed to spend most of my time getting told off for talking too loudly in the Brotherton or getting a cheeseburger from Zulfis at 3am. But it was my involvement with one of the societies at Leeds Uni, READ International, which really reinforced my decision to forge a career in the charity sector. Continue reading
Liam Kennedy graduated from Leeds with a BA in Geography in 2013 and now works for SKIP, an NGO in Peru. Here he discusses the factors that led him there as well as his tips for others.
Doing something worthwhile
Joseph Soloveitchik once philosophised that within every human there are two contrasting beings. He named those beings Adam I and Adam II. Adam I is an ambitious and worldly type, his motives are mainly economic; he wants to climb the ladder, be powerful etc. Whereas Adam II is more humble, he wants to do good and be good; he follows a more moral compass. He stated that these beings are in constant flux, that the winner of this internal battle guides our decisions. I guess this school of thought is what has guided me through my career choices to this point Continue reading
This is the fourth post in our 5-part mini-series summarising the Public Affairs and Community Engagement (PACE) Panel event we held on 11thMarch 2015. Other posts in the series can be viewed by clicking on the ‘PACE Event’ tag at the bottom of this post.
The panel was made up of representatives from LeedsDEC, Maxwell Stamp and a third representing ENDIP and Future Africa.
What is defined as the international development sector will vary depending on who you speak to. Broadly speaking however, it can be defined as those organisations – be they governmental, non-governmental, charities, public or private sector – whose focus is on Continue reading
This is the third post in our 5-part mini-series summarising the Public Affairs and Community Engagement (PACE) Panel event we held on 11thMarch 2015. Other posts in the series can be viewed by clicking on the ‘PACE Event’ tag at the bottom of this post.
What is the charity sector?
This sector is made up of not-for-profit organisations which set out to provide help or support for those in need; to benefit society, specific groups or individuals. The sector may also be referred to as the voluntary, not-for-profit or the third sector. Note, however, that ‘third sector’ is more of an umbrella term which also encompasses non-governmental organisations, co-operatives, social enterprises and more Continue reading
Jenny Sellers studied at the University of Leeds and is now the Project Events Assistant for Leeds based Community Interest Company Luv2MeetU. Here she explains how getting involved in a range of things at university – and beyond – led to her current role.
My current job
I work for Luv2MeetU a friendship and dating agency for adults with learning disabilities. Luv2MeetU is part of the larger charity hft trust, which provides a variety of services to people with a learning disability. My role is Project Events Assistant for Leeds. I organise social events in Leeds as part of the Leeds and Wakefield team. My role also includes creating events flyers to mail out to Luv2MeetU members and attending Luv2MeetU council meetings (made up of members). My role is incredibly varied, flexible and really rewarding! I get to meet a variety of people and no two months are exactly the same, exactly what attracted me to the role and Luv2MeetU.