Adrienne Saunders is Organisation Development Assistant at Mind. Here she interviews Rikke Hansen, a young Danish women who found herself moving to London in 2014 to begin the Charityworks graduate programme and begin her placement at Mind, the mental health charity. Today Rikke continues to work for Mind, focusing on Volunteer Development and acting as a mentor to current Charityworks trainees.
Before I came to London, I graduated with a degree in Political Science, specialising in Gender and International Relations.
I always wanted to live in London and jumped at the opportunity to take part in the Charityworks programme. As such, I found myself moving to London once I was accepted into Charityworks and began my placement at Mind.
At Mind, I was placed as an Organisational Development Assistant, working on a variety of different projects such as workplace wellbeing and volunteering. I loved the role and throughout my year as a Charityworks graduate, I experienced numerous challenges and successes- pushing myself to develop as a leader and learn how to manage multiple priorities as well as broaden my professional network in the new city I had immersed myself.
As a young person in today’s fast paced and uncertain economy, I found it difficult to deal with the uncertainty of what my future would look like following graduation. Would I get a job? Where would I work? I found Charityworks helped me alleviate the stress associated with these questions, helping me to find a placement that suited my interests and skill sets. It enabled me to enter an organisation and work for a cause I was truly passionate about. Luckily, I have stayed at Mind following the end of my Charityworks placement and am constantly reminded why Mind is such an amazing organisation and why I do the work I do. I can always see the impact of my work, however big of small- and that in and of itself, makes me want to go to work every day.
For all the current or future Charityworks trainees, I commend you for your efforts to get where you are today and for the passion you breathe into the charity sector. If I had some wisdom to bestow? Take every opportunity to learn and grow throughout your Charityworks year but remember that your number one priority is to take care of yourself and your wellbeing. It is the maintenance of your mental wellbeing that, in the end, will help you feel confident, resilient, engaged with the world around you and able to work productively throughout times of change.