My name is Jen Harris and I became a volunteer for One-Eighty at the start of September 2014.
After a career in marketing and communications for many different large organisations, I started to explore different working options and environments. Because I have always been interested in the psychology of children and young people, One-Eighty seemed a great place to begin my exploration.
I’d heard of One-Eighty because my husband works for Infineum a local, global organisation that currently supports One-Eighty as their charity of the year.
I was intrigued about One-Eighty as soon as I heard about them. How wonderful, I thought, that an entire charity exists to focus on the kids that many people tend to overlook, to give them support through significant challenges. I am continually inspired by One-Eighty and the work they do with young people to help them continue in education and go on to lead fulfilled lives.
I initially met with Johnny (one of the One-Eighty Directors) and we talked through my background and motivations and decided that I could support them with some marketing work as well as getting closer to cases with the young people and families.
My career so far has been in marketing communications for a variety of large corporate organisations such as Lloyds TSB, The Co-operative Group, and then more recently the charity Oxfam. It has been a wonderful career from which I have learnt many business and life skills. It is really rewarding to work with One-Eighty to support the development of their marketing and strategic plans and to help with some of their marketing activities.
It’s also a real joy to get to know the warm and welcoming One-Eighty team who bring a wealth of experience from different professional disciplines to the intervention work with young people.
Having never worked for a small charity or organisation before and it’s been great to get stuck in at all levels. It’s also a privilege to be a part of a dynamic charity driven by the desire to help children and young people make positive choices that will influence and shape the rest of their lives.
I suppose, if through my volunteering I have been able to support this tremendous cause in even the smallest of ways, my time with One-Eighty has been really valuable.