Charlie Holmes and DASH
Charlie Holmes has played for a Hull-based women’s football team for 10 years and has represented England in football. She has a Sport BTEC Level 3, and, in her CV, describes herself as having an “avid passion for energetic and outdoor activities”. All this makes her the perfect candidate to support young people in Hull to become volunteers, gain accredited sports training and develop other practical skills.
DASH (Diversionary Activities and Sports in Hull) is a network of organisations including charities and charitable trusts, voluntary youth and sports clubs, local police, council youth service and commissioned providers which aims to bring about a coordinated and targeted offer for young people supporting health development and reducing anti-social behavior, with the ultimate aim of reduced entrance into the youth justice system.
Specific tasks for Charlie’s internship included identifying 100 or more young people to become DASH volunteers and to sign up to the Street Games Co-op volunteering programme; working with young people to understand and develop new ways of creating targeted youth marketing and communication activities; facilitating ‘youth voice’ to ensure that activities are meeting young people’s needs and help to inform future project delivery of DASH activities; supporting the quality control of sessions along with staff training and development.
After some initial teething problems, due to Local Authority processes, Charlie reported good progress in May 2014: “We have established a good relationship with Andrew Marvell School [which] allowed me to do some youth consultation. I designed my own survey … This has given use some vital information about were the best place is to get the word out to the young people and where we may have been going wrong last time.”
At this mid-point in the year, Charlie’s manager, Andy McKee described Charlie as playing a “pivotal part”.
From the final report in December, it is clear how delighted Charlie is with what she has learned along the way: “… I have achieved a lot more than I expected. I have met some brilliant and talented people that have helped me grow and taught me many things. I have worked with a wide range of people from young to old, gaining knowledge and experience that you cannot teach in a classroom. I have gained contacts with people that I will carry on working with who will be valuable to my future work. This opportunity has been amazing and it has taught me to make the most of every opportunity you are given.”
Charlie’s manager, Andy, endorses this success and reports clear impacts for DASH: “The Time to Shine project has helped Hull City Council Sports Development to reach over 1000 young people … we have been able to provide a dedicated officer who can liaise with young people and raise awareness of volunteering opportunities”.
Andy also reports a very positive outcome for the intern: “… Charlie is now moving on to full time employment with local youth provider Child Dynamix and will be working on a programme designed to increase levels of young females taking part in physical activity. This is something that twelve months ago seemed a distant possibility when unemployed and no real prospects on the horizon, thanks to Time to Shine and the Rank Foundation this has now become a reality!”
This is an encouraging example of how an internship can not only provide crucial support to an organisation, but also help to provide the much-needed experience for an individual to move on in their career.