05 / 10 / 21
06 / 10 / 21
Recently, Josephine Davidoff, Community Engagement Kickstarter, completed her 6-month F&BF Kickstarter placement to a close… the time flew by, but how did she get to this point, and most importantly – what did she learn from the experience?
Up to this point, I had struggled to find a workplace that valued and embraced difference, including neurodiversity (being suspected, but not yet diagnosed as someone ‘on the spectrum’); I had been in and out of roles for some years, several of which were challenging environments for me.
Before my F&BF role, I was working in a community social action charity role, however I was made redundant due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which affected my confidence significantly. I had since been volunteering at my local food bank, which proved to be an excellent learning opportunity however I felt that this wasn’t my long-term vision. I longed to be in an interfaith, collaborative environment.
I’m pleased to say that after many years of struggle and a lack of knowledge of my own learning needs, I finally received my ADHD diagnosis at the ripe age of 24 years. With a new sense of understanding and identity under my belt, including several learning strategies, I saw that F&BF were taking part in the new government’s Kickstart initiative, and I knew that this was the perfect time to apply!
I had experienced a glimpse of the warm, welcoming, vibrant, and open interfaith setting of The Faith and Belief Forum from attending events in the past. Due to my positive experiences with the charity, I had a glimmer of hope that F&BF would be an open, inclusive, and supportive workplace, including for diverse needs, and thankfully, my gut instinct was correct!
Throughout the placement I always felt supported and that I could communicate any questions or difficulties openly with no judgement, and that I would be actively listened to and receive support. Regular check-ins provided the opportunity for touching base and connection, despite the nature of remote working during the pandemic. This also greatly helped me with feeling self-assured, lowering anxiety levels, and thus improving my productivity.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working with my team and there have been a plethora of opportunities to grow and progress in terms of skills and personal development. I have found the team to be incredibly positive, welcoming and friendly; everyone is genuinely so passionate about the charity’s work and there is a real collaborative approach to team working. I have also felt truly accepted and part of the team; from day one I felt my insights were valued despite being in a junior role.
Some highlights of my placement were attending F&BF’s fantastic LGBTQ+ Interfaith celebration event in May, giving a presentation to my department about a conference I had attended; making new connections with Hindu temples to involve in F&BF programmes; seeing the Interfaith Fun Run project come to life; and the satisfaction of reaching targets I had been set. I’ve also loved meeting with Barnet Multi Faith Forum to plan an event in my local community!.
I’m so grateful for the open nature of the organisation, whether it’s talking about mental health, disability, or home situations to name a few; comfortable and open dialogue is at the centre of their work.
Since being warmly welcomed and embraced as part of the F&BF team, my confidence has bloomed and I, for the first time (ever!), feel confident in myself, including my skills, abilities and decision making. I now see the amazing contributions that being neurodiverse can bring to spaces, including in the workplace, and I am incredibly proud of my identity and difference. I have made new friendships, networks and have learned so much in such a short period.
I would highly recommend applying to become a Kickstarter, whether you are a young person, finding your feet after a period of unemployment, if you are unsure where your strengths lie, or are looking into different career paths. You’ll be joining incredibly passionate and driven team members, who genuinely care about the work they do.
I’m thrilled to be staying on at F&BF, supporting the Income and Engagement Team with fundraising, as their new Donor Relations Assistant, starting in October 2021!
Inspired by Josephine’s reflections? Looking to gain hands-on experience in the charity sector? Wanting to gain employability skills? We are currently hiring new Kickstarters – click here to find out more and apply!
05 / 10 / 21
03 / 09 / 21