Year Here’s 2015 fellows and Dot Dot Dot
Luke, Matt and Josh are Fellows with Year Here, a postgraduate course in social innovation that challenges graduates to build smart solutions to social problems.
Fellows are placed in frontline community organisations to gain grassroots insights and inspire their development of initiatives to tackle social issues. Luke, Matt and Josh are also guardians with Dot Dot Dot. We spoke to them about their experience:
Tell us a bit about your different roles in the community…
Luke: For our frontline placements, we’ve all been living and volunteering full time in Poplar, Tower Hamlets since the turn of the year.
- Josh volunteers as a youth intervention worker at social enterprise charity, Streets of Growth
- Matt is placed at St Matthias Community Centre – run by Neighbours In Poplar
- Luke currently works as a mentor at Langdon Park secondary school.
Josh: Through intensive mentoring and coaching at Streets of Growth, I support young people at risk of engaging in gang culture, crime, anti-social behaviour, and educational and career drop-out
to make and sustain positive lifestyle changes. I’m currently developing one project to help restore disenfranchised young people’s trust in the police and the state, and another to support young people’s access to the technology sector of the labour market.
Matt: My volunteering work at the nearby community centre – which serves a multitude of purposes for its surrounding residents – focuses on community cohesion.
Working there has provided a wealth of insight into community issues in the area. At present I’m working on a project aiming to benefit both isolated elderly residents and local students from Tower Hamlets College.
Luke: Likewise, much of my time at school involves supporting young people from the local area to meet and raise their goals and aspirations. Through a mix of in-class support and weekly sessions with small mentoring groups, we try to give students the confidence to get to where they aim to be. I’m excited to be building towards a project aimed at empowering students to lead learning excursions into their local community.
What do you really enjoy at your different placements?
Josh: Being able to help disenfranchised young people take greater control over their own lives.
Matt: Being involved with such a diverse group of people, and that no two days are the same!
Luke: Working with people who aren’t afraid to tell you what they really think. And the classroom banter of course…
What’s your favourite part of being a Guardian with Dot Dot Dot?
Luke: The best part about being a Guardian with Dot Dot Dot is being able to live at the heart of the community in which we’re volunteering.
It’s given us the opportunity to really immerse ourselves in our environment, and has given us invaluable insight into the local community that informs so much of our volunteering work and projects. Bonding over a frantic Freecycle furniture search was also the foundation for a firm friendship!
Interested in getting involved?
Year Here are now recruiting for their 2016 fellows! Apply at year.org before 11 May 2015