Following a successful Kickstart placement, coordinated via government gateway provider, Durham Works, Grace Stubbings, also a musician in the up and coming all-girl rock band, Venus Grrrls, blogs about her experience working as Changing Relations’ Creative Assistant.

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Over the past six months I have worked as a Creative Assistant for Changing Relations. Throughout this role, I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of informative and exciting projects.

During my time here, I have learnt a lot about what Changing Relations’ missions are and put them to practice; from harmful sexual attitudes to gender stereotypes and relationship behaviours. This knowledge has been implemented in work I have done here, supporting the Artistic Director, Polly Turner, in planning and delivering workshops, and in helping to shape the vast number of projects Changing Relations are working on. This has given me an insight into the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes which has been crucial for my development and understanding of the third sector, alongside developing my organisational and communication skills.

Alongside working on projects, I assisted the Managing Director, Lisa Davis, day to day with administration tasks, which ranged from organising the office and warehouse, to creating their Demystifying Domestic Abuse ‘Train-the-Trainer’ manuals, gathering feedback, and emailing partners and other businesses. It was lovely working at strategy days with other companies, learning about the hard work they are also doing to put their values forward to support their local communities.

It was a pleasure to assist the development of the sustainability policy with our intern, Anna, work alongside associate artists on projects ‘Sometimes It Hurts,’ ‘Let’s Talk about Sex’ and ‘Who Wears the Trousers’, meet and chat to the board of directors, steering group, partners, and people who engaged with the projects; all of which help run this wonderful art enterprise.

Some of my objectives for this placement were to gain confidence and implement this into my every day. As a socially-engaged artist myself, it was great to work for a company, whose values align with mine; it has allowed me to reflect and question myself when it comes to harmful stereotypes.

I am very grateful for the past six months. Lisa and Polly were always extremely understanding, welcoming and supportive. They were such a great energy to be around. I am excited to go forward and implement all the skills and knowledge that I have picked up on this placement into my freelance work. Thank you, Lisa and Polly, for listening to me and supporting me. Thank you to Durham Works for making this placement possible and helping to broaden my knowledge and understanding of the third sector.

I will miss spending time with Lisa and Polly during the week and going to them for support and general chatter (I will also miss Lisa’s wonderful home cooking).