Month: August 2015

Getting Settled…

During my time with the internship we’ll be designing and constructing a sensory garden for a local supported living facility, funded and maintained by a charity called FitzRoy. FitzRoy is a great organisation I’ve worked with before; they focus on helping and supporting families and individuals with learning disabilities. For more information visit

As I mentioned I have worked with FitzRoy before, this is why I asked to intern here. While working there last summer I noticed that their garden was in a state of disrepair and so I proposed a project to my supervisor. I wanted to create a sensory garden.

WildHearts – The Second Week

The focus of this week was to put my research from last week into good use and start acquiring new guests for the Edinburgh Global Entrepreneurial Leaders (GEL) summit.

Given that the GEL is a unique educational experience, it is very relevant to school pupils and educators. WildHearts have a great deal of experience in working with schools through their Micro-Tyco for schools programme and the GEL is the perfect platform for maintain engagement with schools post Micro-Tyco. On this front, my task was to sort through past Micro-Tyco records and compile them into a single database, this made it simple to see which schools have taken part in the competition over the years and in turn the school representatives to invite.

Week 2 – Sense About Science

During my time at Sense About Science one of my main responsibilities has been running the Energy Panel and the Plant Science Panels and for me this has been some of the most interesting work. The panels are made up of experts in the respective fields, who have made themselves available to answer public questions. As part of my responsibilities I field questions from the public, choose the appropriate scientist to answer (in the case of the Plant Science Panel there are over 50 different specialists), then if necessary edit the answer to make it more readable, before publicising it.

So what is the point in getting scientists to answer public questions?

Week 2 at Bedfont Lakes Country Park

Thanks to the fantastic summer weather this week I was able to help with both butterfly and bird surveys. These involve following a set route around the park and noting down where and when different species were spotted, along with things such as weather conditions and the sex of individual. It takes far more skill than I had anticipated to be able to ID birds and butterflies, and the Junior Ecologist is able to tell a great tit from a long tailed tit just from the duration of its cheeps. Since the park is home to over 150 bird species it is safe to stay bird ID is still a mystery to me (for now)!

Friends of the Earth-start

First a quick overview: I am Hossein; doing an engineering doctorate in water engineering. My Charity Insight project is with the Friends of the Earth (FOE), Birmingham.

FOE is an international network of environmental organisations operating in 74 countries. There are many different campaigns at local, national and international level that FOE is involved with. At the local branch in Birmingham, FOE are currently running few campaigns one of which is the ‘waste campaign’; this is the one I am currently working on.

The issue is quite straightforward; a lot of waste and not the best way to deal with it.

Reflecting on Week One at WildHearts

The main focus of my first week at WildHearts was to generate leads for the Edinburgh Global Entrepreneurial Leaders (GEL) summit. In order to find viable leads I was required to compile a list of organisations that would benefit from attending the GEL. During my research, it was important to keep in mind the GEL’s objective – to promote the use of business as a force for positive change. This provided a profile for the target attendees in that they aught to be current and future change-makers.

To this end I produced a database of over one hundred Scotland-based organisations that included schools, businesses and networking groups.

Bedfont Lakes Country Park: Week 1

I’ve spent the last week at Bedfont Lakes Country Park, which is a 180 acre haven situated less than 1.5km from the bustling Heathrow Airport. Despite this, it is home to a multitude of protected species and habitats, such as tufty heathland and beautiful wild flower meadows. In its small petting zoo it also cares for some rescued pets (including tarantulas and racoon dogs!).

My Charity Insights placement involves working with both the Education and the Ecology Team at the park, and so far I have waded through the River Crane, cuddled bearded dragons and answered some very strange questions from seven year old children!

Week 4 with Samaritans

Following my final week with Samaritans it’s safe to say it’s been an experience.

I will keep this entry short and sweet as my last (rather long) one got deleted when I tried to publish it, which was frustrating!

My final week has consisted of collaborating my survey responses, interviews and research into a written report for my supervisor. Though I have learned a lot during my time here I unfortunately did not have as many survey respondents as I would have liked, so drawing any meaningful conclusions has been rather difficult. However, I’ve done my best to work with what I have.

Sense About Science – Week 1

I first knew I wanted to apply for Charity Insights this summer around November 2014, I first knew I wanted to work at Sense About Science about 2 days later. And by Monday morning 3rd August 2015 I just really wanted to get going, to find out what exactly Sense About Science does and how I would fit in.

To give some background to Sense About Science are a “charitable trust that equips people to make sense of scientific and medical claims in public discussion“, pretty self-explanatory yes? well maybe not.

Part of the problem faced by scientists is that they are (often) not in touch with public opinion.

Week 2 – YMCA Corporate Office

The start of my second week began with writing my summative report. After 2500 words about the extent of integration at the YMCA White House, I relocated to the Corporate Office for a more office based project. So far this week I have been assessing the application packs for prospective job applicants. Through investigation of previous resources I wrote an interim report and then starting redrafting the Application Form, Equal Opportunities Form and Criminal Declaration Form.

Also this week I have been reviewing the YMCA’s Human Resource’s Policies and Procedures: collating the policies and rewriting where necessary in order to upload to the new computer system.