One aspect of my internship I really like is that I’m encouraged to learn from other members of staff here at Friends House. It isn’t just theoretical encouragement either. Soon after I started, my line manager and I drew up a list of people it would be interesting for me to talk to, and he’s helped me to set up meetings with them.
A couple of weeks ago I met with the Head of Outreach, Alistair, and asked him how the YFGM Coordinator could go about promoting attendance at YFGM. The key point I took away from the conversation was: why do I/we want to promote attendance? I’d been wondering about this question beforehand, but wasn’t quite sure of the answer. During the conversation, I realised I’d been working on the assumption that outreach is about bumping up numbers, that bigger YFGM = better YFGM. This assumption seems pretty questionable to me.
Alistair talked a bit about a different approach to outreach, that it’s about letting people know about – and thereby allowing them to experience – something that might be enjoyable and enriching to them. I think I’m basically in agreement with this approach, though it does throw up several questions. For me, the central question is: what does outreach carried out using this second approach look like in practice? In other words, what kinds of things would be said? And by what channels of communication?
I’ve also been getting on with less philosophical tasks over the past weeks. Trying to book a meeting house for October 2016 YFGM. Actually booking a meeting house for March 2016 Planning Weekend. Typing up the minutes from York YFGM. Investigating the possibility of paying people’s expenses online instead of by cheque. Getting my work computer screen lowered so I don’t need to crane my neck like a giraffe any more.
More to come,