I’m pleased to introduce myself as Here To’s new Community Development Co-ordinator.
As a fellow Islington resident, I am passionate about bringing positive change to our lovely borough. So I’m really looking forward to getting to know more about the hard working projects/organisations and local people that are helping the Islington community to thrive.
In my role as Community Development Co-ordinator, my time will be broadly split between a) organisation engagement – curating and managing a growing number of live opportunities on the Here To website – and b) resident engagement – collecting, analysing and reacting to feedback from residents about their volunteering experiences through Here To.
So think of me as the ultimate matchmaker: I’m Here To connect local people and organisations to create a new movement of helping out in Islington!
In case you were wondering what cake I would be if I were a cake(!), I think I would definitely be a fruit cake with lots of ingredients – and maybe with a bit of a nutty edge too. That’s because I have a varied background: I love community development and I have most recently been researching community resilience in New York; I have also studied French, Spanish, Business and sports massage, and I’ve even had a stint as a dresser for the English National Ballet!
I am very excited to join the dynamic Here To team, particularly as I have spent many a spare afternoon helping out on various projects over the years. Being able to empower others to do the same is therefore very close to my heart.
The best experience I’ve ever had giving my time and skills was in 2007 when I spent a month helping out a Costa Rican conservation charity called La Toruga Feliz – which is Spanish for ‘The Happy Turtle’. Having just left university, my personal goal was to look for practical ways I could help to solve global conservation issues. As only 1 in 10,000 baby turtles make it to adulthood due to egg poaching, I thought working with La Toruga Feliz was a great place to start.
I was particularly looking forward to using my Skills and my fluency in Spanish to open up a dialogue between local people and tourists on poaching issues that dramatically affect turtle populations. As a result, I got to enjoy some great Perks: learning from and working with people of different cultures, the ability to explore Costa Rica in my free time and (of course) the opportunity to meet many baby turtles!
Although I can’t promise trips abroad – we’re strictly about Islington here at Here To! – I’m Here To help as many residents as possible to enjoy similarly exciting, fun and inspiring experiences of getting involved locally.
So please get in touch and share any ideas you may have about how we can do this better. We will be busily working away to launch some exciting opportunities in the New Year, so get thinking about how we can help you out with those Resolutions too!
How to get in contact with me
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: @heretoislington or @JoannitaBevan
- Facebook: facebook.com/heretoislington