Hello! We would like to introduce ourselves and a share a little bit about how we came to be Square Mile India Assistants.
Gracie graduated in July 2015 in Youth and Community Development BA (Hons). Manissa graduated at the same time in BSc Psychology with Criminology.
We were offered a DMU Graduate Champions internship which entailed becoming City Research Officers. Our role involved gathering data on the issues that local businesses were facing and how the council could best resolve them. This was an amazing learning opportunity which gave us a unique experience and enabled us to develop a number of professional skills. Once the six week internship was up, we were informed of an upcoming opportunity within the Square Mile India team. At this time, the project was brand new and appeared to be inspiring and exciting work. After applying and being informed that we were successful, it was time to get stuck in.
Our roles are varied and interesting. Ultimately, we aim to source sponsorship to support (feed, clothe, educate) the 120 children living in the ashram. We do this by engaging with DMU staff, students, the wider community and local & national businesses. We also plan and attend fundraisers and meet with people to share the positive impact that the project is having.
In the future, Gracie hopes to set up a youth provision overseas and the skills and experiences gained from this position will be incredibly useful. Public speaking, planning, sourcing funding, community engagement, group work, using initiative, blogging (to name but a few) are all very relevant skills and have been gained through this amazing opportunity.
This experience working on the Square Mile India project, has led Manissa to want to pursue a career in community engagement. This opportunity has provided valuable experience and skills such as, planning events, meeting with various agencies and holding informative stalls which will all go towards pursuing a role within community engagement.
We will be updating the Square Mile India blog on a regular basis to keep you informed about what we’re up to and what progress is being made. Watch this space!
By Manissa Patel and Gracie Smith