I worked as a Project Assistant at Groundwork, working predominately on the cultural heritage project called Full CIRCLE, which is all about refugees, migrants and people born in the UK coming together to share creative and cultural experiences through cooking, crafting and gardening. My role in the project included assisting in the Full Circle ‘Creating Communities’ book and curriculum pack –
I have found my experience very fulfilling. It has helped me evolve in many ways because I was involved in a variety of different projects, each one has developed my skills and as a result I have gained new ones.
The ‘Creating Communities’ book contains a collection of recipes, stories and ideas from people with different, including some traditional and not-so-traditional ways of cooking, crafting and gardening at home. I contributed to the project by taking photos at sessions, gathering content and interviewing participants for case studies, as well as supporting with administrative tasks. Before the UK COVID-19 lockdown I was also involved in facilitating craft sessions for Silver Linings, a supported volunteering project for over 50s in Hackney.
I learned how important it is to provide opportunities for people from different cultures to come together and share experiences in a safe and welcoming spaces.
Having worked on Full Circle from the beginning, I have learned about the different stages of the project and the process involved in creating materials such as the book. I’m also more aware of the importance of capturing the story of a project and how to interact with people when interviewing them about their personal experiences.
One of the main challenges I faced with was working with the over 50’s group, I constantly worried about being patronising or condescending because I felt I didn’t have the confidence to teach someone much older and wiser than myself. In order to overcome this, I learned how to speak at their level and assure them I was not teaching them but guiding them by showing them an example of how to do something. I found it easier over time and now feel more confident interacting with people of different age groups.