Final Post: Bex Betton, Cardiff & Vale Health Charity
Wow! I can’t believe I am writing the final blog of my Internship!
The past 10 months have been nothing but a privilege to work and learn in Cardiff & Vale Health Charity. I’ve been challenged to grasp a range of skills and whether it’s website design, event management, communications, or anything else to support the organisation, I’m now confident I can give it a go!
As I transition into my new role on the Arts for Health and Wellbeing Team, I am delighted to be a part of some of our many ongoing arts projects and I am pleased to have also accepted an offer to extend my hours to contribute towards the creative development of the Cardiff Royal Infirmary.
Of course, I have to conclude my last blog by saying a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone at Arts and Business for giving me this opportunity and supporting me throughout the year, my Arts and Business Mentors, Lynne and Marie and my Mentor Buddy Becca, who have enriched my knowledge and experience and my senior colleagues Simone and Jayne, who have helped me to grow into my new role.
I am so thankful I applied to the Internship and I am looking forward to a long-term and exciting career in Arts Fundraising.
Week 28: Bex Betton, Cardiff & Vale Health Charity
Well, first things first, I GOT A JOB! I interviewed at my current placement, Cardiff & Vale Health Charity, for the role of Arts Fundraising Support Officer, which will begin after the competition of my Internship in September. I couldn’t be happier to be staying with the team and I am delighted that my work at the charity has established a need for a new position – now there’s no getting rid of me!
This Saturday I ran my first in-person event to raise funds for the Arts Team. The Creative Cuppa at the Bone Yard was a branch of the NHS Big Tea for the Arts Programme. I filled the yard of old shipping containers with creative workshops, arts vendors and cake stalls and vendors kindly donated a pitch fee to our Arts for Health and Wellbeing Programme. I also ran a stall to sell Health Charity goodies and donated artworks. It was fantastic to see so many supporters at the event as well as some of my friends who popped by!
Going forward, we have a range of exciting projects ahead of us, including children’s art sessions at the Emergency Unit, installing my Texting Games for Patients, as well as displaying a variety of donated artworks around our sites. It is the best feeling knowing I will be staying at the charity to see each of these projects through to completion, and of course, many more!
Week 27: Eleanor Benson, The Aloud Charity
I can’t believe that I’m writing my final blog post for my internship at The Aloud Charity, before I move on to my next fundraising role!
It has been an amazing, unforgettable and jam-packed 8 months; I’m so grateful for how varied and interesting my role has been. I’ve written applications to support corporate partnerships (CultureStep), and applications to a huge variety of trusts (18 in total), as well as Arts Council Wales and the Cardiff Life Awards. I planned and presented a crowdfunding campaign to raise £10,000, and learnt lots about how to make the most of individual giving, community fundraising, digital marketing and design.
And having reached the end of my placement, I’m proud to know that I’ve helped raise money to support such an important and life-changing cause.
Along the way I’ve also made new friends, and expanded my professional networks and horizons through training courses, covering Disability and Equality, to E-Commerce, Arts & Health and Facebook Marketing.
Whilst I’m of course sad to be leaving, I know I will keep in touch with everybody, and feel so grateful knowing that the training I’ve had will stand me in great stead for the future.
So thank you so much to everybody at The Aloud Charity, Arts & Business Cymru and my wonderful mentors for this AMAZING opportunity!
(And to anybody reading this that is considering applying to the programme – I say just go for it, you won’t regret anything!!)
Week 26: Greta Bettinson, Hijinx
I’m slowly working my way through the list of priorities that came about through writing Hijinx’s fundraising strategy and this month have been working on a number of applications, particularly focusing on support for our new Professional Development Module which aims to provide neurodivergent actors with the skills they need to succeed professionally, and Pawb, our community and outreach strand.
I have also begun the search of corporate support for Hijinx’s own Unity Festival, one of Europe’s largest inclusive arts festivals. Corporate fundraising is a pretty different ball game to Trust and Foundations, and like Aled mentioned in his blogpost, is also pretty difficult in the current market! But after speaking with my mentor yesterday to refresh my knowledge I’m feeling more confident – Unity poses a great opportunity for us to develop some of the contacts that we already have into corporate supporters and reach out to new partners, so I’m really excited to push myself in this area even if it is somewhat challenging!
In other news, our application to the Weston Charity Awards has been successful, and Hijinx have now begun work with Pilotlight, a UK charity who work with other charities and social enterprises to support them to become more strategically efficient and better prepared for development and growth. This has come at a great time for Hijinx as we start to move back to face-to-face activity and begin implementing the lessons we’ve learnt throughout Covid, particularly around using digital technology to make theatre and how we can make our work even more accessible. For more information on the Weston Awards, check out: https://westoncharityawards.org/2021-winners/
Week 25: Aled Rosser, Cwmni’r Frân Wen
Every time I come to write one of these blogs I'm just blown away by how fast the months have gone, it seems like I've hardly been at Frân Wen at all but I've managed to do so much in such a small space of time. I now have just over 2 months left!
The past weeks I've been focusing on getting private sponsorship for Frân Wen, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and Pontio's production Faust + Greta (so exciting that actual theatre with people can actually happen!) that is being live-streamed this week! I've learned so much from just that experience, everything isn't successful all the time and dealing with businesses is a completely different ball game to Individual Giving and Trusts & Foundations! Brexit and the pandemic have made the corporate sponsorship field much harder than anticipated. But as is the theme through this internship it's a learning curve and it's been a great place to start to see how that side of fundraising works.
The great thing about being at Frân Wen is as it's such a small team, you are always listened to and I get the chance to get stuck in loads of different things that happen at Frân Wen. Being involved with the Young Company is really cool, being able to drop into sessions co-creating and developing their summer production. And it's going to be the coolest thing so watch this space!
We've got a few fundraising events for #Nyth30k on the horizon so keep an eye on Frân Wen's social media pages to keep up to date with our latest efforts to reach our target of £30k!
Week 24: Macx Roche, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru
Time does not seem to be slowing down and neither does the workload. The last few months have been a busy time and the need to jump between different projects has been a must. However, this is something I have very much enjoyed and has kept the weeks interesting.
I have been working on community funding for a variety of different projects and learning how to gain the most of what is available. I am looking forward to taking part in Arts and Business Cymru Trusts and Foundations training as I feel I am at the perfect point to gain better knowledge on this funding stream.
I am still working closely with the marketing team and my fellow intern, Aled, on advertisement and sponsorship. Working on sponsorship has been something completely different to the rest of the applications due to the difference in how to handle the proposal, approach, and the response. I am hoping for success as I know it is such an amazing project.
As to what is next, I am confident that application successes are just around the corner and when needed I’ll be able to jump onto any other projects that need my help.
Week 23: Bex Betton, Cardiff & Vale Health Charity
Wow, wow, wow! It has been another wonderful month in my role on the Arts for Health and Wellbeing Team. As well as continuing with my ongoing duties and projects, these past few weeks have brought even more exciting new opportunities for me!
As part of the national event, ‘NHS Big Tea’, I’m running a strand for the Arts Team called the ‘Creative Cuppa’. The event invites local businesses, community groups and individuals to improve wellbeing by taking the time to be creative, enjoying a cuppa together, whilst raising money for the Arts for Health and Wellbeing Programme. You can find out more here: https://healthcharity.wales/events/creative-cuppa-2021/
Last month featured Action for Brain Injury Week and I created artwork and arranged the communications to showcase one of our former brain injury patient’s poetry each day of the week. I found it incredibly rewarding to communicate with the former patient and hear about how posting his work to the public has boosted his confidence and opened up more opportunities for him.
I have also been involved with decorating our Mass Vaccination Centres, I created this fun selfie station and I ran a Free Children’s Art Competition to fill the walls with positive artwork. My team has worked so hard throughout the Pandemic and I am so proud to be bringing more joy into the NHS at this time.
Week 22: Eleanor Benson, The Aloud Charity
The past few weeks have been as interesting and as varied as ever!
I’ve enjoyed finalising everything for our upcoming Crowdfunding Campaign to raise around £10,000. The campaign will allow us to record a wonderful new OBA album in the recording studio at Ty Cerdd. It’s been great to take ‘ownership’ of this project and see it evolve from start to finish. It’s funny to think that when I started the internship, I knew very little about how crowdfunding works, but I’ve now learnt so much about what makes a successful campaign, from the supporter rewards, to the marketing and storytelling.
Whilst we won’t be launching the campaign just yet, I’m really proud of all that I've achieved and it’s great to know that everything is in place for us to hit ‘go’ when the time comes later this year.
This week I’ve been preparing a big application to Arts Council Wales to fund a new pilot project for a teenage girls' choir programme (which will hopefully become an equivalent to OBA eventually). Putting together such a large bid for a brand-new project has been a really great experience!
In between this I’ve helped prepare content for our stunning new website that we’ll be launching soon (do watch this space!).
Last weekend the charity also hosted our first outdoor rehearsals for Only Boys Aloud, after rehearsing virtually for over a year!
Week 21: Greta Bettinson, Hijinx
With every blogpost I write, the busier things become! This month has been no different and with the completion of our fundraising strategy, I can now go full steam ahead into fundraising applications.
This last month alone I have written, assisted on, and submitted applications to five Trusts and Foundations. Two of which have been successful, including funding from Arts & Business Cymru’s CultureStep programme which will enable us to enhance our business partner, Bad Wolf Productions’, support of Hijinx Film. The other three applications are still pending, and I have got everything crossed that they are equally as successful!
Like my fellow interns have mentioned, we are now over the halfway mark and have now had our halfway reviews. This was a really great way of reflecting on everything that I have achieved so far, as I think you can often forget to do this whilst powering through applications! I have been particularly reflecting on how far I’ve come in terms of my confidence, especially around presenting to a group. Delivering Hijinx’s first fundraising strategy (and the first I had ever written) to our fundraising and volunteering panel, including members of the board, was a huge achievement for me and something I felt so nervous about in the lead up… but it was received really well, and I can now sigh in relief and tick it off the list! I’m so grateful for the support from Arts & Business, my team at Hijinx, my mentors and for the opportunities to really push myself in this role.
Week 20: Macx Roche, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru
This last month I have had my five-month review and it was so lovely to hear such great feedback not only from my Arts and Business mentors but also from my line manager. In the last month alone, I have undertaken training sessions in Legacies, Disability Equality, Wellbeing and E-Commerce. Each training session being very different from the next but all extremely useful.
As to what is next, there are several more streams that I would like to get involved in within the company. I am especially looking forward to working with members of the team on different projects and hopefully be able to submit some funding applications (fingers crossed with some success too). I have the pleasure of working throughout my internship with the amazing marketing team and am excited to have more responsibility when it comes to fundraising messaging.
Week 19: Bex Betton, Cardiff & Vale Health Charity
It’s been another busy month at Cardiff & Vale Health Charity!
I started working on a new creative project with the Cystic Fibrosis Unit. I’m delighted to have been granted permission to visit the site to meet with the medical staff and familiarise myself with the environment. Visiting the unit enabled me to see the impact of the Arts Programme’s work up close, and I can’t wait to be part of its development!
I’ve been continuing with my previous projects, marketing the ‘2020 Diary of Artist Nathan Wyburn’, packaging purchased artwork from the Holding onto Hope Art Sale and preparing for some exciting meetings on the horizon for our Legacy Fundraising.
Last week marked my halfway review. It was fantastic to hear positive feedback from Simone and Jayne, my seniors in the Health Charity as well as my Arts and Business Mentors Lynne and Marie. It really put into perspective just how much I’ve learned and challenged myself through the Internship. I am so grateful for the opportunities, responsibilities and support I‘ve been given in work and I’m excited to see what the next 5 months will bring.
Week 18: Eleanor Benson, The Aloud Charity
I can’t believe that this blog post now marks half-way through the internship!
It’s been really great to step back and reflect on the past 6 months - what a whirlwind it has been! I’m so pleased with how much I have learnt and achieved, so bring on the second half of the placement!
These past few weeks have been as busy and varied as ever. To give a few highlights:
I've submitted Trust applications to the People’s Postcode Lottery Fund and The Morrisons Foundation, which would support our choirs as we return to in-person Only Boys Aloud rehearsals (watch this space!). I also put together our nomination to the Cardiff Life Awards for the Charity, Arts and Health & Wellbeing categories. I can’t wait to see if we are shortlisted and able to attend the glamourous awards evening later this year!
My focus on Trusts and Individual Giving has also been complimented by my work with Kathy Brown, my lovely Business Mentor. She has been fantastic in helping me write a corporate sponsorship proposal template, to hopefully use when we expand our OBA choirs into West Wales.
This morning it was great to take part in some Disability Equality Action training, led by Disability Arts Cymru. It was so interesting to learn more about The Social Model of Disability and how arts organisations can (and must) strive to be more inclusive in every area of their practise.
Week 17: Greta Bettinson, Hijinx
I feel like that’s all I’m talking about recently, but it’s nearly there, and whilst I’m nervous to share with the rest of the Hijinx team, I’m also really excited to put some of my recommendations into practice!
Writing a fundraising strategy from scratch has been quite the challenge, but like I said in my previous blog, I’ve really enjoyed the process and it’s given me a much deeper understanding of Hijinx as an organisation and fundraising in general –one of the things I’ve been really enjoying recently is working with my line manager and a freelance designer to discuss how we might present Hijinx’s Impact Report and how this could aid fundraising – the Impact Report itself has already proved to be such as useful tool whilst writing applications for core funding, but I’m excited to see how we can use these statistics in a creative way to update our ‘Support Us’ website page into something more compelling to donors.
As part of the Impact Report, we’ve also been discussing ways we can develop our evaluation process and how this can be used to present the impact we are making. We’re waiting to hear back from the Weston Awards too, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that my application was successful and we can develop this further through working with Pilotlight who offer strategic support to UK charities to support them to become more efficient and sustainable.
All this work has given me a lot of things to do, but it will all be worth it to build a solid and resilient foundation for Hijinx as the organisation continues to grow.
Week 16: Aled Rosser, Cwmni’r Frân Wen
I’m halfway through my internship.......what?!?!?!
The past 5 weeks have been amazing as always. I have been working with my fellow intern Macx on developing a bespoke sponsorship package for a co-production between Frân Wen, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and Pontio. It’s been a really exciting and interesting experience being able to be a part of every aspect of the proposal and ensuring that we are making it attractive for the potential sponser but not infringing on the integrity of the production or the three companies.
In other news, exciting things have happened with Nyth. I can officially say that we have managed to get an additional £510,000! Before christmas (a long time ago by now) I assisted on an application to the Garfield Weston Foundation, for £200,000 and I wrote an application for the Douglas Pennant Family Foundation for £10,000. I’ve also had a few rejections in that time also but it comes with the territorry I suppose. You just have to learn that sometimes that you won’t get positive results all the time, but everything in this internship is a huge learning curve.
Something else that is a learning curve is launching a individual giving campaign – Nyth30k! I’ve learned that flexibility is key when planning a campaign, as anything could happen or tactics need to be changed halfway through to ensure you are maximising your exposure to potential donors. If you’re reading this and fancy supporting something that will help young people, communities and artists go and check out franwen.com/Nyth30k or go follow our social media pages, or if you want to give to a good cause you can do so by texting NYTH30K + the sum of you donation to 70085. (Cheeky plug ;)
Week 15: Macx Roche, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru
I have now reached the half waypoint of this internship. If I am honest, these past five months have gone by so quickly but also so steadily at the same time. Speaking to my mentors this week and revisiting all I have done and achieved so far has been a strange experience, there is so much that has happened. I feel that with these placements you get involved so fast that you forget to take two minutes to reflect on everything.
In the last five months, I have really pushed myself to gain a better insight into the world of fundraising and at times yes I have felt very overwhelmed but I have also learned to have confidence in myself. Through the guidance of my mentors and undertaking a number of training sessions, I am starting to feel like a very valued member of the team and to trust in my ability and knowledge.
The next steps and targets for this internship have yet to be formalised but, for now, I am very pleased with what I have achieved and genuinely cannot wait to crack on with the next five months.
Week 14: Bex Betton, Cardiff & Vale Health Charity
Last week we celebrated ‘CAV One Year On’, where each day we highlighted through our social media channels how the Arts Programme supported our Health Board staff, patients and visitors throughout what has been challenging year. During the week, we also announced several of the new projects I worked on to the public:
I set up an online Art Shop to sell over 60 donated paintings made by the students of Beth Morris Workshops in order to raise money for the Arts Fund, the sale is still on and I’m delighted with the amount it’s raised so far.
Have a look at the artwork on sale: https://cardiffandvale.art/2021/03/17/holding-on-to-hope/
My funding application for my project ‘Texting Games for Patients’ was successful, and I am delighted to announce that it will be going into 7 hospital departments as a piolet in the near future. Woohoo!
Lastly, ‘The 2020 Diary of Artist Nathan Wyburn’ is printed and on sale! I managed the project and put the visual diary together, it’s fantastic to see it printed at last!
You can purchase the book here.
The week was a wonderful summary to many of the projects I worked on from start to finish and it was great to see so many funds coming in for the Arts Programme
Week 13: Greta Bettinson, Hijinx
It’s been a while since I did a blog and I have quite a few things to update you all on!
Firstly, Hijinx’s 12 Days of PAWB Festival was a success and as a result of our text fundraising campaign, we now have our first regular donor! For my first lead on a Fundraising campaign, I don’t think I did a bad job! Like any first tries, there’s lots to learn from for next time though, but it’s really exciting to be part of the Festival’s development and to apply the skills I have developed over the last 4 months in a fun and creative way!
Similarly, creating Hijinx’s Fundraising strategy (we currently don’t have one) has also got my creative juices flowing and taking the advice of my Arts mentor and the Development Team from National Theatre Wales (who very kindly chatted to me over zoom), I’m treating it as a way of putting my ideas to paper! I think the thing I love most about working for Hijinx is that as an organisation, there is so much potential and each week new things are being worked on and developed – this was a little overwhelming when I started, but now I’m beginning to make headway with a strategy I’m really excited by this potential… although some of these changes I might not see during my internship, I feel that the work I’m doing now will hugely benefit Hijinx as an organisation in the future, and that’s a really exciting prospect!
Aside from that, I have been working on 2 large Trust and Foundation applications for Core funding and the continuation of Hijinx’s Film training as well as writing a general case for support for Film House (Hijinx is spilt into ‘Houses’ = departments) – this is something I aim to do for each of the Houses depending on how much time I have, which seems to be flying past, especially working part time!
I’ve also begun some additional Freelance work for the Funding Centre, where I’ve been helping out on the occasional prospect research and competitor analysis – this has been a great experience so far and I’m really grateful for my previous internship colleagues at the Royal Welsh College who recommended me!
Week 12: Macx Roche, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru
Every time I write these blogs, it always surprises me how fast time has passed since the last one. These last few weeks I have been working with several members of Theatr Gen on a whole host of projects and I am really enjoying the variety that has come with each project. I have specifically been working closely with the marketing team to promote and utilise the individual giving platforms, so I am particularly looking forward to A&B’s Social Media Strategy training next week.
In my last blog, I mentioned having the opportunity to develop my Welsh Language through undertaking a Welsh Language course. Even though the course itself was intense, I could feel my confidence grow by each session. It was great to meet and speak to people in a similar situation to myself; we had not used the language for a while and felt that this had knocked our confidence.
During the next couple of weeks, I am hoping to work on three funding applications for very different projects, so fingers crossed there. I will also be delving into the world of sponsorship, an avenue I have yet to explore.
Week 11: Bex Betton, Cardiff & Vale Health Charity
In the last month, I feel I have made the most progression in my Internship so far. After presenting my work, research and suggestions from December, I am now leading four of my own projects.
I am grateful that my senior colleagues trust me to work more independently through scheduling my own daily tasks and allowing me to communicate with a variety of Health Board Staff and artists using my own initiative. It has been a fantastic experience for me to build these projects from little to no starting point and Simone, Jayne and the rest of the team have remained extremely supportive and have been there to advise me at any time.
Whilst two of these projects are continuing, my work with Syndicate Schemes and Legacy Fundraising, the remaining projects are more testing of my creative skills. I am helping to format and sell a book for the charity, as well as bring one of my own creative project ideas to life.
When I joined the internship, my senior colleagues expressed an interest in my knowledge and background in the games industry. As such, they have supported me to apply for my own grants and introduce the first ever games project for the Arts for Health and Wellbeing team!
I am still helping with bits and bobs everywhere and taking on new tasks as they come up. I can’t wait until my projects start becoming public and I can show off my hard work and new skills!
Week 10: Aled Rosser, Cwmni’r Frân Wen
Wow! I’m almost 3 months in and it’s flown by! Since the last post so much has happened and where to start? Firstly, the progress in Nyth has developed so quickly it’s hard to keep up. So far I’ve assisted on 7 grant applications to several trusts and foundations, waiting to hear from them is the worst part! But I’m so happy that I had an opportunity to contribute in some way towards Frân Wen’s new home. Since then, I’ve applied for a further 3 grants and working on another 2 by the end of the month!
On top of this, the individual giving campaign is taking shape. We’ve been filming at Nyth for the Social Media campaign also and have created a timeline to when the content will be going out (keep an eye out for the phone on our social media sites). The only thing left to do is to create the page with the details of how to give.
I can honestly say that the last 3 months have been bonkers and crazy, but I’ve enjoyed every second of it!
Week 9: Macx Roche, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru
Well hasn’t time flown again! First blog of 2021. In my previous blog, I spoke about researching and hoping to implement individual giving platforms and we are now at the countdown to these going live to the public! I am now working on a funding application for an upcoming project alongside some of my colleagues, though this is something new to me, it has been great working with other members of the company and being present during meetings to fully get a sense and passion for what the project is about.
Though I am undertaking this internship through the language of Welsh, I have been given the opportunity to develop my confidence by undertaking a Welsh Language Course. This is not something that every company offers its staff but I feel that this will greatly benefit my confidence in my ability.
As a company, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru has shown great ability to aid and support their staff, especially during these times. The company has offered courses that could help improve staff’s knowledge and also it's taken care to ensure good mental health and wellbeing practice. The Company has implemented ‘Awr o Lonydd’, an hour a day where no meetings or formal communication can be scheduled to give everyone the opportunity to take time for themselves or complete work without disruption.
I am very much looking forward to the weeks ahead seeing the platforms go live and sending off my first application.
Week 8: Bex Betton, Cardiff & Vale Health Charity
I was delighted to bring 2020 to a close with the first Arts Christmas Newsletter! It was wonderful to bring together the different strands of our team and display all the projects, activities, and competitions we had going on over Christmas. Please follow the link to read it for yourself.
I’ve been looking into Legacy Fundraising and Syndicate Schemes for the Arts for Health and Wellbeing team; I’m not experienced in either area, so it has been an exciting challenge for me to improve my knowledge and make the most of the resources I have access to through the Internship. I’ve been able to discuss both areas with my mentors Marie and Lynne and my Intern Buddy, Becca. It has been useful to listen to three different sets of ideas and experiences as well as the support I receive from Arts and Business Cymru and my colleagues at the Health Charity. I am looking forward to start using the advice I’ve received around these areas and start putting things in place!
I decided not to book annual leave in December, which allowed me to experience working more independently over the Christmas period. I was able to fill in on tasks for my colleagues who had booked the time off and spend some time focusing on my own research and preparing to pitch my very own project! Hopefully, I’ll have lots more to say about this in my next blog!
Week 7: Eleanor Benson, The Aloud Charity
I can’t believe I’ve had 7 weeks with Aloud and learnt so much already! I'm feeling very settled into and really positive about how my work ‘’fits into the bigger picture’’ for the charity. In the New Year I’ve also got some exciting projects that I’ll be in charge of so keep an eye out!
The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind in the run-up to Christmas – I'm so glad to have joined the charity at such a fun and busy time. It’s really made me appreciate the importance of the festive season for fundraising, and how the generosity of the public can make such a huge difference.
Recently I’ve worked on setting up two different individual giving campaigns on Facebook so look forward to seeing the result of those. Since The Aloud Charity has a fairly small team, it’s great that I’m able to help others too. I’ve enjoyed doing some social media to promote Giving Tuesday, the charity Christmas Cards, and the virtual Christmas Concert.
Some other great news...a funding application that I assisted with (for a big evaluation project) was successful. So onwards and upwards with the trust applications!
This weekend is the virtual Christmas concert which will be a really special festive event, with people tuning in from around the world! I can’t wait to watch this with everyone to celebrate the boys’ and the team’s hard work this year. It will be available to watch on the Only Boys Aloud Youtube page!
Week 6: Greta Bettinson, Hijinx
I can’t believe it’s time to write my second blog already – the time seems to be flying by, and perhaps even more so as I’m only with Hijinx three days a week! I’m really beginning to identify and get excited about the ways in which I can use my experience to help Hijinx diversify their fundraising and expand their existing systems.
One of the things I’ve been working on is 12 Days of PAWB, an online festival and fundraising campaign which Hijinx is running throughout December to bring together participants from their community and training programmes to celebrate creativity and raise funds to support community work. We have collaborated with students from USW and Cardiff Metropolitan University who are exhibiting their work online ( https://weblog.hijinx.org.uk/12-days-of-pawb/ ) and in the windows of Wales Millennium Centre, during December. The online festival will showcase performances and online taster sessions, a virtual quiz, and the release of Vaguely Artistic’s (Hijinx’s inclusive in-house band) charity single! This provided an exciting opportunity to develop our relationship with Cardiff & Vale Health Charity, who are sponsoring the single, and for me to write my first application at Hijinx; to Arts & Business’ CultureStep which was successful!
I’ve supported our social media team in writing several posts for #givingtuesday as well as setting up my first ever text donation campaign via Donr. I was very relieved when our first donations came through!
Now more than ever, charities rely on generosity to keep doing what they do! This Christmas, please consider supporting a charity close to your heart.
Find out more about Hijinx’s 12 Days of PAWB: https://www.hijinx.org.uk/celebrate-christmas-with-12-days-of-pawb/
Week 5: Aled Rosser, Cwmni’r Frân Wen
5 weeks!!! The time has flown by, and I’ve enjoyed every second of it so far! Since starting at Frân Wen I’ve (tried to) get to know every corner of the company, and there is a lot to get to know! There is so much happening here, and that’s what makes it so exciting! So many fantastic projects that make so much difference to so many people’s lives!
Before beginning the internship, I had no idea about fundraising! But now I am writing a grant application for ‘Nyth’, a really exciting capital project that will be a new home for Frân Wen as well as young people from the region and the community. It’ll be a place for everyone to come together and get involved in the arts. Alongside this I’m in the process of setting up an online donation scheme, and to launch it there will be a fundraising campaign on social media so keep an eye out!
What’s great about the internship is that it allows me to be as creative as I want whilst also giving me the chance to make a significant impact on the company. With us being such a small team, it allows me to help out in our participatory programme, and it lets others on the team to help and be a part of my journey to fundraise.
A&B has also been a huge help in my confidence, with incredibly useful training sessions. It gives us the chance to network with other arts organisations and it lets us share and bounce ideas off of each other.
On to the next 5 weeks!
Week 4: Macx Roche, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru
I am a month in next week!
To say that time has passed quickly would be an understatement, saying this I already feel very comfortable with the team at Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and have received such a warm welcome. The amount of support I currently have is something to be marvelled at and I would just like to acknowledge them for a moment; my amazing line manager at Theatr Gen, the knowledgeable course leaders at A&B (including those working ‘behind the screens’), and also my very experienced mentors. I very much doubt there will ever be a moment when I have no one to turn to.
I must admit that working from home is something that takes a while to get used to, but neither A&B nor Theatr Gen has let it stop them.
In the first weeks of my internship, my main focus has been researching into donation platforms for Theatr Gen and will be looking to implement these systems as a key part of the team very soon. Through this research and the online courses provided by A&B Cymru I feel have already learnt so much, I am very much looking forward to what else there is to learn over the next 9 months.
Week 3: Bex Betton, Cardiff & Vale Health Charity
It has been so exciting to join the Arts for Health and Wellbeing team at Cardiff and Vale Health Charity in the run up to Christmas! There’s so much going on around the festivities and I’ve already had the privilege to work on a range of projects.
My first few weeks with the charity have been full of learning opportunities. Since starting my internship, I have: learnt how to use new programs, written articles, submitted a funding application, played an active role in meetings, and inputed my own ideas to enhance our fundraising. The most significant lesson I have learnt so far is the quantity of work involved in fundraising besides bringing in the funding. A lot more time than I anticipated goes into building relationships, spending the finances, and SAYING THANK YOU!
Fundraising has started to become a strong factor in my everyday life; from using AmazonSmile to sending off my old ink cartridges I’ve become a lot more aware of the opportunities to donate and raise funds around me – some of which don’t cost me anything!
As my first month concludes, I am impressed by not only how much the charity has already taught me, but how welcoming my colleagues have been towards utilising my existing knowledge and skillset and embracing my suggestions. I am grateful that I have already been given a significant amount of responsibility and I look forward to continuing to develop with such a fantastic organisation and team.
And that’s a wrap for my third week!
The first few weeks has flown by and I’m feeling very fortunate and excited to be part of the Aloud family for the next 10 months. Although starting purely from home perhaps wasn’t quite what everybody anticipated, it’s been a really enjoyable and jam-packed start to the Internship and I’m already feeling settled into the swing of things.
As interns we’ve also had the chance to take part in some fantastic professional training courses run by Arts & Business Cymru on creating a fundraising strategy and arts sponsorships, all of which will really compliment my practical work. It’s also a great way to network in an informal setting, as lots of other local arts and business managers from attend. It was lovely to meet the other interns virtually and I look forward to getting to know them and sharing experiences over the next 10 months.
I’m really pleased to have got stuck into some projects for the charity already. This week I’ve been writing applications for a Tesco Bags of Help grant, on behalf of each of the 13 Only Boys Aloud choirs, for when rehearsals return to normal – so fingers crossed at least one of these proves successful! I have particularly enjoyed practising my creative and persuasive writing skills to write passionately and concisely and I look forward to developing this further with larger Trusts and Foundation applications.
I’m also delighted to have been assigned my Business Mentor for the year, Kathy Brown. I think the support network from Arts & Business and my various mentors will be a real highlight.
It’s going to be an exciting 10 months ahead!
Week 1: Greta Bettinson, Hijinx
I'm back to do it all again!
It’s been a little while since my last post, and during that time I received the fantastic opportunity to stay at the College a little while longer. During that time, the College and it’s corporate partners won 4 awards at the Arts & Business online awards ceremony, including the Admiral Business of the Year award for their partnership with Penderyn Distillery – the nomination that I wrote!!
In September, my time at the College ended, and I am now onto pastures new, starting a 10-month part-time internship with Hijinx Theatre.
Hijinx is one of Europe’s leading inclusive theatre companies based at the Wales Millennium Centre (although currently everything’s online!) in Cardiff. They work to promote equality and diversity in the theatre and film industries and are the only professional training company for learning disabled and autistic actors in Wales, as well as the UK’s largest casting company dedicated to learning disabled and autistic actors.
I am thrilled to be working with Hijinx at what is a very challenging, yet exciting time, and am looking forward to supporting the Heads of Houses (Hijinx is split into 5 Houses – Theater, Ffilm, Jobs, Academies and Pawb/Community) whilst also expanding my knowledge of into other areas. From a personal point of view, Hijinx’s ethos is something that I’m really passionate about and I think that this experience will be of immense value to my other venture: a Masters in Arts, Health and Wellbeing at USW. I’ve got my work cut out, being the only Fundraiser at Hijinx and studying, but so far so good! This week I’ve been enjoying meeting the team and some of the actors online. I’ve also been working my way through my first week targets and beginning to create a database and priorities list to identify what I need to start fundraising for!