BBC Outreach & Corporate Responsibility
Kathryn Blennerhassett & Ena Miller
Bitesize Researcher & Broadcast Journalist
'Volunteering enriches our understanding of other people’s lives' - Kathryn Blennerhassett
BBC Bitesize Researcher Kathryn Blennerhassett, built on her radio skills to create podcasts of two women’s personal stories of asylum seeking in the UK.
Volunteering with the North West Regional Activism Project appealed to me as I had previously worked for the United Nations Development Programme in Geneva and Laos.
I had worked in radio production and felt my radio skills were becoming a bit rusty so this project would give me the opportunity to work on my radio skills and on some podcasts.
Together with another BBC volunteer, we recorded the stories of women seeking asylum in the UK. Using the model of Radio 4’s The Listening Project, we recorded each woman talking to a person who had helped them since their arrival in Manchester.
Our first interview was with a woman from Zimbabwe who had illegally worked for a Zimbabwean family who mistreated her and she effectively became a domestic...
Senior Software Engineer, BBC Digital
Joe Haig is a lead BBC staff volunteer at BBC Salford running after-school coding for primary school children. The free classes are run in term time in conjunction with Codeclub.org.uk which provides the teaching materials for programming animations, computer games and websites.
I saw the first announcement for Code Club on Twitter in 2012 and became involved before I joined the BBC.
Code Club is a nationwide network of volunteer-run after-school coding clubs aimed at helping children to learn computer coding. The majority takes place in schools or in community centres where local children can attend.
There are now over 2500 Code Clubs across the United Kingdom, and since 2013 they have also been expanding worldwide.
When the opportunity to set up a Code Club came with BBC Outreach I organised one for three local primary schools.
During term time each week they bring 30 children between them to participate with a team of BBC volunteers from BBC Salford. Most of the school children had little or no prior programming experience before they started Code Club.
A number of key ideas are covered at Key Stage 2 and these are introduced in worksheets. For the sessions we help the...
Series Producer, BBC Bristol
BBC Series Producer Ben Southwell volunteered at the recent ‘Into University’ project in Bristol which aims to help young disadvantaged people get a University place and look at different careers.
“I was invited to give a presentation to the young members of the charity ‘Into University’. I was one of three BBC staff members who were asked to give a presentation on our roles and how we got into television.
I really didn’t know what to expect - and I had a preconceived idea the young people would only be interested in how to become a presenter. I was concerned how they would relate to me, and would they view me as someone old enough to be their grandfather?
We decided to break the afternoon up into three sections. We talked about what we studied in university, and our personal career progressions.
As a Series Producer I manage teams that make different factual programmes at BBC Bristol. These are varied and include content such as ‘DIY SOS’ to ‘Natural History’ and ‘history’ programmes. One of my colleagues is an apprentice and the other works in sustainability so our jobs and career paths are very different.
I’m pleased to say I found the experience very enjoyable and...
Digital Technician, BBC Bristol
BBC Digital Technician Katherine Grant on why she loves to share her knowledge through volunteering.
“I have always taken part in voluntary work, from helping with Brownie Packs after school to working in Charity Shops between jobs. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, learn new things and share your knowledge.
When I started working at BBC Bristol I was really happy to find out that I would have the opportunity take part in volunteering activities. Much of my learning has been from other people, and now I have the chance to do the same for others.
I am based in the...
Broadcast Journalist, BBC Breakfast
Louise Hannah, a Broadcast Journalist on BBC Breakfast, used her story-telling skills to help children create an animated film aimed at encouraging walking to school.
"I wanted to volunteer for the BBC as I was aware of its huge potential to help other people and groups. It’s such a big, globally recognised organisation with real clout and resources – both in terms of facilities and staff – and I wanted to play a role in helping other people access this.
As a first step, I arranged a meeting with Tina Ntow – a member of the BBC Outreach team – to discuss my skills and how they...
Creative Media student
Film student Elizabeth Penny volunteered at the BBC’s recent Talent Ticket project in Bristol which aims to give young people a look at careers in TV.
“I am currently in my final year of studying Filmmaking and Creative Media at UWE and as the end is nigh I have started to look back at how I got here.
The truth is that the reason I am here, studying film, is because I just so happened to be in the right place, at the right time. While I was waitressing - I encountered a customer who was working on a film. I then managed to talk myself into a running job, and I have never looked back.
Assistant General Accountant
BBC Accountant Elizabeth Stanley on how signing up to be a school governor has helped her understand that a school does a lot more than teaching.
“I have been a parent school governor for my daughter’s high school since November 2014 and my daughter is in year 8.
I knew I wanted to be a lot more involved with the school based on the high school open evening.
I found the head teacher and her team extremely encouraging and they believe strongly in rewards for good performance and behaviour.
Our school uses Vivo points where the children choose their own rewards which are very...
Outreach Manager, BBC North
After months in the planning the Hadrian’s Wall of Sound music relay was one of the highlights of BBC Music Day.
Senior producer Helen Amess, who had the original idea for the coast to coast event, followed it every step of the way from dawn until dusk.
“Well, it’s always a weird feeling when you spend months working towards one day and then all of a sudden it happens and then you’re left looking back at it.
Mind you, what a day to look back on! When I first had the idea of Hadrian’s Wall of Sound I had no idea it would turn into the magical event which happened on Friday 05 June as part...
Associate Head of English, Brentside High School, Ealing
Brentside High School in Ealing has been working with the BBC’s School Report for the last 9 years.
Associate Head of English Vesna Klein talks about the excitement and pride of her pupils’ work being featured on the BBC and how they ended up in Downing Street…
“Our school has 1,350 students of mixed ability and is also ethnically very mixed with students who are West Indian, Eastern European and Asian. It’s a lovely environment.
Our involvement with School Report has been progressing from strength to strength.
We started working with School Report in 2006 and every year we involve...
Service Assurance Manager, BBC Engineering
“Working in BBC Engineering it can sometimes be easy to forget there is an audience ultimately at the end of our services. My role in the BBC is to assure the technology services provided by the Atos Technology Framework Contract.
Each day is widely different but very much focussed on the underpinning technology which provides our output and supports a variety of people working across the BBC to produce our content and keep the BBC working.
When an opportunity came up to volunteer at an audience Outreach event it seemed a perfect way for me to spend some time with the people who are...