A Week in the Life of a Student Community Worker

Hi! I’m Rebekah, I am a second year Church, Community and Theology student based in a community hub in Waterloo.  I live in a flat with three other students and a hamster named Oreo!

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Monday: The week begins with our weekly team meeting. This generally involves birthday cake for someone, updates on projects and discussion of any upcoming events, challenges or opportunities.  I then spend the rest of the afternoon in the office, designing recipe cards for a project the next day. My afternoon admin is gladly interrupted by a debt advice client who we haven’t seen in over a year but is struggling to keep on top of payments; I make some calls and arrange a further appointment with another advisor. 

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Tuesday: Up bright and early to get the food to run Eat Well Spend Less, a course teaching people how to cook and eat healthily on a budget. It’s the last session of one of our courses today, so we are having a bit of a celebration! We make Chilli Con Carne and American pancakes, which we share together at our community lunch. People who have taken part on the course get together with others in the community and we eat and chat together.  One member of our community loves Elvis and we have a little tradition of having a dance and sing-a-long to “Devil in Disguise”.

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Wednesday: Lectures, which today involved me, along with some classmates doing a dance to demonstrate a relational view of the Trinity, a somewhat bizarre experience but it certainly helped to visually understand a complex topic!

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Thursday: I go to my additional placement in the morning, visiting a lady as part of AgeUK’s befriending scheme and I get to hear all about bringing up children in 1960’s London.  It’s then back to the office where I am very excited that an article about our Eat Well Spend Less course has been finished – some people from the Trussell Trust visited a few weeks ago to film and take pictures and it was great to see the final piece which will be used in their national newsletter and Easter campaign.

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 It’s then a busy evening as I give a presentation to some people who are running the London Marathon for Oasis, I tell them a little about the work I do in Waterloo and the impact their fundraising will have. I then go straight from there to a team meeting for our debt advisors, we talk about how we can increase the advisor’s confidence and arrange some further training for them, and we also discuss how we best support our clients and help with broader issues that may underpin their debt. 

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Friday: It’s study day – I’m writing a piece on the meaning and contemporary use of an Old Testament Bible passage, I am, as usual amazed at how flippant the church can often be in its use of scripture and how much depth of meaning is lost by taking the text at surface level.  I’m making good progress but there is of course the obligatory procrastination of lengthy conversations with other students and watching YouTube videos of cute animals doing ridiculous things!

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Saturday and Sunday: I give myself some proper time off and go to the cinema with one of my flatmates. Sunday is church and then back to studying, essay deadlines beckon!

@gibson_rebekah on Twitter

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