Kickstarting Success at Delight: Ella, Tasmin, and Maureen’s Stories

Maureen and Tasmin with packed materials for the Out of This World programme.

Tasmin and I, and more recently Maureen joined Delight through the government-backed Kickstart Scheme. The scheme aimed to provide training and employability support for young people and to help with breaking through into industries ­– gaining valuable experience.

At the beginning of our placements, we worked with Artswork who provided training and support, and weekly catchups with other young people in placements at other arts organisations in the south of England. The support that Artswork and Delight provided was greatly appreciated by myself and many others having just gone through the Covid19 pandemic and graduating from university. Having studied fine art, it was great for me to be able to go straight into a creative role as many struggle to break into the arts industries.

Working as part of a small team has been great as it has meant I have been able to get stuck into multiple parts of Delight. My role as Communications Executive has been varied and interesting having learned a lot in my time here. This was my first communications role and I feel like I have grown into the job, and it has evolved with me. I have gained experience in a range of areas, including web, design, social media, email marketing and leading with Tasmin on volunteer sessions.

Both a challenge and a highlight of my time here has been being able to work on the redesign of the company website. This was a massive team project and really great to see my ideas come to fruition. The website is still an ongoing project as Delight grows and changes. I have been learning the basics of how to navigate the backend of WordPress to keep things up to date whilst also building a members’ area for our programme teachers and partners. I have lots more to learn but I’m enjoying the process!

Tasmin’s story:

I began working for Delight about a year and a half ago and feel that I have grown particularly in my organisation skills. I have discovered that I am quite detail orientated. I started work here as a Kickstarter – part of my role was packing the resources ready to send to the programmes. Currently, I am buying and organising the packing of the resources (working with Maureen on this) and seeing where we can make better choices for the environment. I have also been booking a lot of coaches and deliveries. Delight collects a lot of data to evidence the impact of its programmes. I enter all this data and recently have been collating the data to make individual school impact reports. It is interesting to see the data on a school level, where the programmes have been most successful and in what areas.

The job can also be quite varied, Ella and myself recently have been going around to organisations that want to volunteer their time to make miniature books for the Delight in The Woods programme. I really enjoy the creative parts of the job – recently we made some sashes for costume Boxes for the Delight in Shakespeare programme. I also enjoy sending off my parcels and when something gets organised it is satisfying to complete it.

There are always 100 things to do with how ambitious Delight is as an organisation which can be a challenge, but it is just about how you prioritise your workload. I really enjoy working for a charity that makes a difference in so many children’s lives through art. It’s a value that is shared by everyone who works for Delight, and we make a great team. You realise how special and high quality the programmes are when you see them in person and how much joy they bring to children, who may not have been exposed to the arts before.

Tasmin and Ella.

Maureen’s story:

My role has evolved from when I was first recruited here, I was a fundraising assistant, which involved managing data and recording findings and research. I am now a Programme Assistant and my duties have changed, I now help to allocate resources for different projects and help to maintain the office – kind of like a jack of all trades! Doing things around the office, assisting team members, prepping resources and boxes ready to be sent out and recycling (which there is a lot of!).

100% the best part of working here is being able to use my creativity, for Delight in Watts three themes I have made example dioramas and invites which have been really fun to do and made me feel really whimsical and childlike getting stuck into the making.

At the moment my main project is prepping and making miniature books for the Delight in the Woods programme. I have been preparing the book inserts and spines ready for assembling, it’s good to have it all prepared. I’ve also been preparing the Rainforest Retreat envelopes as new resources come in. This and the miniature books are ongoing projects for me.

In the past, I have struggled with self-assurance and confidence because sometimes I feel like I haven’t done something right or not up to the standards. Anytime I’m given anything practical I definitely require a physical example, so when I see that example, I can definitely know how it’s supposed to look and do it to the best of my ability. Delight has helped me by explaining things clearly and letting me know that no idea or thought is a dumb one.

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