JDRF volunteer Nick shares his experiences with JDRF
Nick is a recent graduate with a degree in international affairs. He has been volunteering in the Public Affairs department in JDRF’s London office and is hoping to eventually settle in a career with an environmental organisation.
How long have you been volunteering with JDRF?
I have been volunteering with JDRF for a couple of months now. I come in two days a week and have done so since April.
How do you volunteer for JDRF?
I am working in the London office with the Senior Policy and Public Affairs Officer, Rachael Chrisp. I have been assisting her with a few things. Firstly I go through published parliamentary reports, committee hearings, tabled questions and speeches looking for anything that is relevant to type 1 diabetes that might be important to us. With this monitoring I can find out if there are any MPs or organisations who are interested in type 1 or if there is any news that might be important for us to know. It might not be specifically about type 1 but it could be relevant nevertheless. For instance, I have been looking at a lot of content on Brexit because this may have an effect on access to diabetes treatments in the future. When I find important content and news I make sure to forward it on to the relevant team if necessary.
The other task I enjoy is keeping our stakeholder database up-to-date. The stakeholder database is made up of parliamentarians – Members of the House of Lords and House of Commons who may have an interest in type 1 diabetes. If someone is involved in anything to do with type 1 then it is noted in the stakeholder database.
What have you learnt from volunteering with JDRF?
I have learnt a lot from my time so far at JDRF. It has given me huge insight into how the parliamentary process works and what exactly stakeholders do. I was surprised at how much goes on in parliament and I am now aware of how a public affairs team can monitor this.
I have also built up a much greater understanding of how charities work in this space. We have the power to make a noise when legislation passes that relates to us, like the recent sugar tax in April. We can also use our voices to lobby for change to make things better for those affected by type 1 diabetes.
The skills I have learnt are transferrable. I hope to stay in public affairs and policy but my dream is to work with the environment.
Would you recommend volunteering with JDRF?
I would definitely recommend volunteering with JDRF. It’s a great working environment and I always have lots to do. The JDRF team have been really warm and welcoming. I am really enjoying my experience here.
Would you like to volunteer for JDRF?
Whether you have an hour, days or months to give, your contribution will make a huge difference to the millions of people around the world affected by type 1 diabetes.Find out more