Anna joined Worthwhile in 2016 and worked for Social Spider, a London-based social enterprise. She stayed on with Social Spider after her one year placement.

Anna

Where did you spend your Worthwhile placement?

I spent my Worthwhile placement at Social Spider where my two main roles were within project research and sales and advertising. Due to the small nature of the social enterprise I was given high levels of responsibilities and authorities from the start of my placement.

What different types of responsibilities did you have during your placement?

I was involved in a research project in collaboration with Power to Change that investigated how the organisation could fund mental health related community businesses. My role was to create a feasibility report to assess how these businesses could become financially sustainable.

I also managed the sales and advertising for two of Social Spider's community newspapers. This was a role I was completely new to, however Worthwhile provided me with the training I needed to succeed in this role. I had weekly training sessions with Worthwhile where I was given one-to-one reading materials and practical demonstrations that would help me in my role.

What new skills have you learnt during your placement?

I learnt the importance of refining methods of research so that they’re focused on presenting outcomes that are manageable and comprehensible for your clients. I was also able to start to link the smaller research projects I was working on, to wider political structures and more complex theories of how our country is governed. It was great being able to make connections between large political systems and small-scale enterprises.

What things did you learn about yourself during your placement?

From my placement I began to accept when I needed help and learnt that not being good at something can also be framed as a challenge to be embraced. My confidence was definitely boosted and I gained a desire to challenge myself.  

What role/s have you undertaken since your placement?

I chose to stay on with Social Spider since my placement. At the moment I am managing their general community media, which involves managing the papers' daily operations, business modelling seeking funding to expand our newspapers into more communities. I have also been working on some social research projects related to health and mental health.

I dedicate one day of my week to freelancing where I work with Creating Ground, a social enterprise that helps refugees and asylum seekers through media and art. On these days I run art workshops with refugee women!


This interview was conducted and written by Kavita Tailor.