Friday, February 28, 2014

What next for the International Service Alumni Board?

Hi Everyone,

I’m Jenny, one of two new members to the ICS alumni board. I had my first meeting last weekend along with fellow newbie, Ben.
This time the board meeting was held in a community centre called ONE KX near Kings Cross, London. The meetings usually alternate between London and York, which is great as board members come from right across the country. To find the venue we approached the charity ‘Somewhere to’ – a great organisation who help to young people to find spaces to hold creative events. You can find both of their websites here: https://www.facebook.com/ymcaonekx and http://somewhereto.com/home.
As a first port of call we discussed the roles for present and future board members. We wanted to make sure we always have a representative from each county. My placement was in Palestine (January to March 2013). I am currently the only member of the board to have been on a placement there.
On a camel in Jericho, Palestine!

After we had come up with a list of roles for board members we did a brainstorm of events for 2014. I soon realised that I joined the board at a great time as the team were just in the process of thinking up with plans for the next financial year. This meant that although I had only just joined I could have a say in the activities, events and projects planned for the next twelve months!We discussed arranging two small fundraisers and one large event. The idea was that the large event can potentially be for all International Service alumni. We chatted about getting speakers, venues and how to encourage alumni to attend. One of the reasons that I joined the board was to gain experience in events management. It was great to therefore be able to get immediately stuck in with the development of these plans.Finally, we talked about choosing selectors for the Small Grants Fund. Last year, the alumni board successfully set up the fun with the aim of awarding grants of up to £250 to ICS projects overseas. Volunteers apply stating why their project needs the money and how it will be spent. During the meeting the board agreed that the selection committee should be made up of 2 recently returned volunteers from different countries.
As well as welcoming Ben and I, the board also said goodbye to Alison last weekend. She is going to Burkina Faso to volunteer as a team leader and we all wish her the best of luck on her placement.


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