Hello there! Casey here. I just wanted to share a bit about my recent experience helping out with Here To as an Events Wizard.
Originally from New York state in the USA, I recently spent a year in the UK studying at London Metropolitan University as part of my Communications degree. Following on from this, I have been looking to get some more experience organising and running events, as I think this is an area I would like to focus on in my carer.
So when I heard about the opportunity to help out with Here To, I felt it was pretty much spot on with where I am at right now, and it seemed a great way to meet my own personal goals whilst also doing something good for Islington. In particular, I was interested in experiencing a full event life cycle from start to finish.
I worked alongside Katherine, the Here To Manager, on several occasions to plan a high energy day of pop-up activity in Islington to spread the word about Here To: we called it the ‘Here To Takeover’. This involved scoping out ideas, creating a plan of action, assigning tasks, finding venues, designing activities, making/designing event materials and evaluating/recording the event. I also got to work with local organisations and projects such as HUB Islington, ArchWay With Words, Whittington Park Community Cafe and Islington Central Library, as well as my old uni.
The Takeover itself involved us visiting 5 Islington locations (with permission) in a single day, running pop-up stalls and small activities to engage members of the public. We also timetabled in a bit of helping out too and we had the Here To Bucket of Community Spirit in tow as well. Check out the ins and outs of what we got up to on Twitter by searching #HereToTakeover.
Reflecting back on the experience, I really LOVED being part of the Here To Takeover. It was really fast-paced and it was great to have achieved something as big as the Takeover with just a couple of planning sessions.
Working with the Here To Manager has equipped me with more events skills for the future and I am proud to have masterminded the first string of Here To bunting! By following a sequence of steps, myself and Katherine made the most of the contacts and resources available to us and it all came together quite nicely. I was even able to incorporate some of my personal hobbies into my helping out with Here To: baking and sewing.
Following the Takeover, I feel I now have a much clearer idea of what is available in London in terms of community building and opportunities to help out. I have also improved my communication and public speaking skills by talking to different members of the public I would not normally meet.
I have helped out with local projects, neighbours and charitable organisations/campaigns for as long as I can remember, but I would definitely be interested in helping out at Here To Islington in the future. Until then, I will be supporting another community project called Casserole Club.
If you would like to know more about what it’s like to become a Here To Wizard, feel free to drop me a tweet @c_robbbs!