UK Rock Challenge Ambassadors Blog: December 2016

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Volunteering with Rock Challenge® helped me choose my career path...

In 2013, aged 14, I started volunteering for the UK Rock Challenge®. I decided to start volunteering because I loved coming to the event days with my school and I wanted to get more. Volunteering is such a fun thing to do for various reasons. Initially, it feels kind of weird because you can go through a whole Rock Challenge® day without having to rehearse or perform and despite this missing part, you still have just as much fun (if not more because there is less stress).

As a volunteer you have the benefit of being able to try your hand at many different jobs over the event days from being a runner to selling merchandise to looking after the judges and VIPs on the night, something that can definitely teach you a lot of these 'transferable skills' that guidance teachers like to speak about. It really increases your confidence and time management as well as giving you experience in working long hours in a fast paced environment. All of these things are super great for your CV or personal statement when applying to jobs and higher education. 

The variety and challenge of volunteering is further increased by the accreditation scheme which basically encourages you to fulfil many different roles as a volunteer. You have to have completed a range of tasks to achieve the bronze and silver levels and you can gain a gold award by planning something that 'goes the extra mile' for Rock Challenge®. I gained my bronze volunteer award in my first year of volunteering and just this year became one of the first volunteers in the country to achieve the silver accreditation levels, currently working on an idea to go the extra mile for gold! Having an achievement like that as a volunteer provides a clear distinction of your dedication to your voluntary work, another thing that helps on the employability front. 

Aside from the administrative benefits of getting involved with such an amazing cause, volunteering is super fun. You have the chance to make friends with so many people who also care about Rock Challenge® as much as you do, and are mad enough to travel all over the country to show that. You get to take part in the production meetings which is always really fun, especially Right Type of Mood and the craziness of stage craft and merchandise modelling. It's not often you find something so beneficial and unbelievably fun.

The more I volunteered, the more I wanted to be involved and I began to think how cool would it be if this was actually my job. It combines both organisational and business type skills along with theatre and it provides such an amazing opportunity to young people (as I know first-hand). I started looking into events degrees in Scotland and we went from there. Having the Rock Challenge® experience from volunteering was definitely a beneficial addition to my personal statement and along with my grades at school I was able to secure 5 unconditional offers and I now study Festival & Event and Marketing Management (BA Joint Honours) at Edinburgh Napier University. Currently in my second year and still volunteering for Rock Challenge®, I am grateful for the practical knowledge I have unconsciously gained through my involvement in the events and totally credit my involvement in Rock Challenge® for my choice of career and what helped me get into the course that will hopefully lead me into a happy events career, maybe one day with Rock Challenge®! Thank you to the Rock Challenge® crew for providing me with so many opportunities that have really shaped my life.

Big RC love, 

Katie D

Monday, 19 December 2016

My Rock Challenge® Experience

Hi all!

So I finally got round to writing a Rock Challenge® Blog, So let’s start with a little bit about my experience and how I got to become a RC Ambassador. I started at school, a little over 11 years ago now, as a back stage member. I watched my teachers, fellow students and team slowly bring this 8 minute performance to life and when I first got in to it, I thought, 8 minutes, how hard could it be? Well how wrong as I! Yes, 8 minutes, which took approx.. 8 months to create, from lighting design, video design, costume design, choreography, drama, backstage props and set elements, I never expected there to be so much involved and there was and whilst it seemed a staggering amount to do, the team pulled together and we created our first RC performance as a school. We were wholesomely proud; we took it to our local event at Grantham, where we watched seven other teams perform absolutely amazing pieces and had the time of our lives. We didn't win... or come close... but we didn't care, we took part and tried our best.

During my final year participating for Rock Challenge®, the RC team told us all about becoming a volunteer with RC and how to apply - The next year I volunteered at my local event, which I then volunteered at for three years (described as a "one hit wonder" by one of the Rock Challenge® team, which I thanked them for, despite being unsure if it was a compliment or not.. I think it was?) Last year, I branched out (yes, oooohhh branching out!) and volunteered at Grantham, Rotherham and Grimsby Northern Finals! This year, I am volunteering at six events across the UK over 14 days and am already more excited for them, than I am Christmas!

I hear you say... Why volunteer for Rock Challenge®? Why is it so good? Well, I'm oh so very glad you asked... During my time volunteering over the past 4 years with Rock Challenge® I've had the amazing opportunity to work with a team of professionals to produce events and meet some amazing people. From inspirational teachers to talented students, from the Rock Challenge® team to energetic volunteers. I've been given the chance to learn what goes into the production of the shows and everything that goes on behind the scenes to make Rock Challenge® such a fantastic experience overall and a fantastic day for everyone involved.

I think the best part of volunteering overall is the chance to see and be a part of how Rock Challenge® changes lives for the better. The events are essentially about reducing and stopping young people getting involved with drugs, alcohol and smoking. A scheme which is at the heart of everything the Rock Challenge® and Charity; Be Your Best Foundation does. Volunteering for Rock Challenge® is something I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who is interested in seeing how Rock Challenge® achieves this in such an awe-inspiring way.

Thanks for reading! I apologise for the mildly lengthy post and shall try to promise any and all future posts will be shorter... (Notice, the use of the word try.) 

Bye for now