12 June 2014back

Creative Internships Blog Week 32

Sinéad Owens, WheelWorks

This past few months I have been incredibly busy working alongside our co-ordinators to plan our programme of activity for this year (2014-2015). This included approaching new groups and festivals to work with, fundraising, project planning and budget handling as well as many other aspects. Getting this type of hands on experience in project co-ordinating has been unbelievable in helping me understand all the planning and organisational aspects that need to take place for each and every project that WheelWorks facilitates, no matter how big or small.

Speaking of big projects, I recently got to spend the day with my Business Mentor, Vincent McCann in the Market Place in Armaghwhere he is the Operations Manager. During the day we focused mainly on a huge event that Vincent had coming up, the Giro D’Italia Concert that was taking place in the Mall in Armagh. It was great to get to learn about all the planning, documents, assessments and procedures that such a big company has to do in preparation for an event. He brought me down to the Mall and showed me the plan for the layout for the concert, it was crazy to see the amount of work that goes into planning an event that will only last a few hours. I was really impressed and it gave me a flavour of the type of work that goes into managing bigger events and projects.

Just this week I found out that a few more of my funding applications have been successful, including the application I wrote about in my last blog. Even though I’ve been doing this for eight months now, every time I find out that one of my applications has been successful I am overwhelmed with such a sense of pride and achievement. I love that I am able to assist in future activities for WheelWorks, mainly because I believe it is an amazing organisation.

At our most recent Arts & Business NI Cultural Philanthropy Seminar Lucy Bird urged us to remind ourselves, during funding applications, ‘why are we fundraising and what difference will this funding enable us to make?’ Although this seems like a simple thought, I found it extremely beneficial. Each time I fill out an application for WheelWorks I now remind myself why I am doing this. I am doing it to raise funds to facilitate bespoke arts based workshops with children & young people aged 4-25 from the most marginalised, disadvantaged and at risk communities across N.I. What difference will this funding enable us to make? Well, through the funding we receive WheelWorks is able to support the social, creative and cultural development of young people through accessible and innovative programmes. Our programmes provide a creative fusion of traditional and digital art forms, harnessing the arts for learning and change and giving young people a voice. Reminding myself of this every time I complete a funding application will give me the motivation for success as it will be a constant reminder of the good work that WheelWorks is doing for the young people across Northern Ireland. 

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