Lucinda manages our young people programme in Bristol, which is celebrating its first anniversary this month. She chatted to us about her role at Step Together and reflects on her proudest and most memorable moments of the past year.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Every day is different, but I am usually out and about meeting with clients, visiting organisations to discuss volunteering opportunities or sometimes at a networking event in the city. The first thing I do in the morning is send reminder messages to the clients I’m meeting to make sure they don’t forget!
I usually meet young people at the referrer organisation or we catch up at a local café. It is always good to see what type of environments they are comfortable in so I tend to mix it up. Just recently I have been supporting my clients to apply and volunteer at the MShed, Wild Place, Creative Youth Network, New Rooms Café, St Werburgh’s City Farm, just to name a few.
What are you most proud of achieving at Step Together?
I’m proud of all my clients, for lots of different reasons. What looks like something quite insignificant to some people can be a huge leap forward for one of my young people. It’s always a proud moment when I take clients to an interview and they feel a real sense of achievement for attending because it shows that they have taken that first step to moving forwards with their lives.
However, I feel most proud when I receive positive feedback from the organisations where my clients are volunteering saying how great they are. This just reaffirms everything that I do and say; that all young people can contribute to their communities and should be valued.
Step Together is becoming more well known in the city now and it’s a great feeling when I introduce myself and they already know who we are and what we do. So I’m also proud when I get a referral through word of mouth.
What has been the most memorable moment from the past year?
The main things that I remember are when my clients gain confidence and I start to see their characters and personalities shine through. All of them have said something that sticks in my mind, whether it’s one finding out that I secured her a film-making placement and she squealed “Oh my God Lucinda I love you!”; or when a very anxious client sent me a funny text to say that he had either turned up to our meeting half an hour early or 23 and a half hours late; or when I supported a nervous client to volunteer at a community kitchen that cooked a free 3 course dinner party every Wednesday night for homeless people and she said that she would have never expected to walk into a place where everyone was so nice and welcoming and she couldn’t wait to come back next week.
Not everything always goes to plan and sometimes the memorable moments are when this happens. A client had a panic attack in an interview and I spent two hours sitting down with him calming him down, but then he still managed to complete his trial shift afterwards. The resilience of my clients is always staggering.
What do you wish other people knew about Step Together?
There is such an amazing wealth of knowledge within the team of Volunteering Project Managers – it’s a hivemind! If I’m stuck with anything I know I can find the answer within the team pretty swiftly. It’s great to have that kind of network. Also the commitment of all the staff in the organisation to our cause, everyone fully believes in what we do and our clients. It’s lovely to be around a set of people who are fundamentally non-judgemental and advocate for the people we support.
You’re happiest when?
When I’m stomping around in the countryside, having a dance and eating a lot!