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
Find out how Poonam, an IT student, secured her placement as an Information Systems Intern at multinational company Mondelez. Poonam talks about her decision to do a placement year and how the experience has benefited her, and gives some useful tips for getting an IT internship.
Attending university was a vital step towards my goals especially within the current climate of a competitive global economy. So naturally a placement year was always something I wanted to do; gaining hands on experience within an industry, taking an educational break from University life and extending my professional network with people who are already in the field.
English and Philosophy graduate Sarah talks about her experience as Communications Director at healthcare IT firm TPP. She talks about how activities and skills she gained at university helped her land this position, and provides some useful tips for anyone who’s aspiring to a career in marketing.
I’m Communications Director at a healthcare IT firm called TPP, based in Leeds. I lead a small marketing and communications team of five people and we support the sales team in keeping our current customers happy and well informed, trying to get new sales and promoting the work we’re doing. Our largest customer in the UK is the NHS and we have over 6,000 NHS customers. This means me and my team need to keep up to date with government policy and know who’s who in the world of healthcare.
This week, Jack, a New Media graduate talks about his experience of setting up his own business, WayWest Design – he explains how the Enterprise opportunities at the University have helped him throughout his entrepreneurial journey and what benefits this experience has brought him. If you’re interested in starting your own business, read on and don’t forget to check out the Leeds University Start up Service page on our website for more information.
About my business:
I’m Jack Weston, founding Director at WayWest Design. We provide expert services in Web and App Development, Digital Design and Illustration, Photography, Videography, Motion Graphics, SEO Consultancy, Marketing Consultancy & Digital and Marketing Strategy to our worldwide client base. Our purpose is to deliver specialist knowledge in our field as well as maintaining a personal quality for our clients.
WayWest was established whilst I was still studying at the University of Leeds. I have always had passion for design so I began designing logos, graphics and websites for friends and family members free of charge in order to gain experience and add to my portfolio. From there, I was recommended to people and businesses outside of my network, rapidly increasing my profile and has spiraled into the successful business that it is today.
Sarah, a final year Medical Sciences student talks about her experience as an Office and admin volunteer for The Forgotten Heroes. She found this role in the Opportunities section of the Leeds for Life website – she encourages all students to take up volunteering alongside their studies and talks about how her volunteering role has helped her develop valuable skills and enhance her CV.
I started working in the The Forgotten Heroes charity office for a couple of hours a week in early September and so far it has been a fun, interesting but mostly rewarding experience. I decided to volunteer with The Forgotten Heroes to enhance my CV as I previously had no office experience and since working here I have learnt a huge number skills. I spend my time in the office updating our social media sites and website as well as contacting other organisations and stock taking.
This week, Psychology student Chloe talks about her experience of securing a placement by directly approaching the employer. She goes into a bit of detail about her role at Virgin Active and how contacting them helped her land an exciting placement position. If you’re struggling to find any advertised opportunities that you’re genuinely interested in, this post can show you an alternative approach to the conventional application process.
I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to complete a year placement role unique to any others I had seen advertised. I was given multiple job roles and training with the global company of Virgin Active. During my placement I was given the opportunity to take up the front of house role, the membership sales consultant role and also shadow and assist the service managers during team meetings and in the work place. The job roles varied but they all required constant face-to-face customer contact. As a consequence I had to quickly develop my communication and customer service skills. All of the job roles were very demanding and thus required me to be able to quickly adapt and be versatile. This is because some days I could switch between all of these three job roles in just one day. Although difficult, I found this very rewarding as the more challenges I overcome in one job role, helped me thrive in another.