Skip past Navigation

Agents of change

Posted on 06 November 2014

Hi! I’m Laura and I’m working with Groundwork through the organisation Changemakers. Changemakers are dedicated to unlocking the leadership potential of young people and use a teaching method known as values based leadership in order to do this.

I first applied for a programme called the Organisational Development Programme which is run by Changemakers, where you are placed into an organisation in order to work on a project or event they are planning.

My placement was with Groundwork, so before my interview I set about researching them as I had never heard of them before, but as I read more about it, I became inspired by their commitment to helping people and improving the world we live in.

I knew that this was an organisation that connected with the values that I hold close and that I could hopefully help them achieve their goals.

'The Blue Bombshells'

Once I had been accepted for the role with Groundwork, I took part in a five day residential course with Changemakers based in Chester which was focused on developing your skills as a leader and finding out what is important to you. In just three days I grew close to the group we had been put into called ‘The Blue Bombshells’, and learned that being honest, genuine and brave can take you miles in connecting with people and developing trust.

I have been working for Groundwork for just under a month now, and even though I am only here on a temporary basis, I feel I have been welcomed and encouraged by so many that I work with. The dedication and hard work of the people who work here to helping people from all walks of life is truly inspiring.

The project I am currently working on is writing and helping to implement a network dedicated to young people. The network is being set up in order to help increase the visibility of Groundwork by harnessing the creativity and opinions of young people.

Changemakers bannerYoung people understand the challenges the world faces

For young people, the network is a platform for the youth to have their voices heard, and to contribute to real and lasting change in their local communities and on a global scale. Being one of these young people myself I know how frustrating it is to feel as if your opinion doesn’t matter, or being made to feel as if we don’t understand the challenges the world faces, let alone that we could contribute ideas for tackling these issues. This is why I feel the network is such a fantastic opportunity for young people to be heard and to inspire others by communicating their passion for the environment.

Today, we are facing impacts from climate change such as rising temperatures, rising sea levels as well as decreasing biodiversity. The ability to tackle such issues requires the input of people from all backgrounds and age ranges if we are to successfully implement solutions. This is why I believe the ground up approach that Groundwork have towards helping people and the environment is something that can be used and harnessed in order to tackle these issues.

Individual actions can add up to collective benefit

Even though it seems that these problems can only be tackled by corporations or governments, in truth, it’s the local people on the street who pick up a plastic bottle in passing, or a small community group of a few people who manage their own fruit and vegetable patches that collectively help to make a difference.

I always figured that picking up that piece of rope from a beach, or that beer can separator on the grass next to a river, might just save an animal’s life, or prevent an area of beauty from becoming spoilt.

So maybe next time you walk past some rubbish on your way to work, you might stop to think about the future environment it might spoil, and decide to be the person who prevents that.

Post by Laura Read, Groundwork UK