Citizens Advice Plymouth and Plymouth Marjon University today announce their joint media partnership, providing BA (Hons) Journalism students the opportunity to contribute to and strengthen the Plymouth community.
Citizens Advice Plymouth is one of a network of Citizens Advice charities across the UK who provide advice to people who live, work and study in Plymouth. Partnering with Plymouth Marjon University, both organisations are aiming to work together to develop and progress students’ in a way that benefits both them and their community.
This partnership will give Journalism students at Plymouth Marjon the opportunity to apply and develop their skills in a real-time work environment, by giving a platform and voice to Plymouth residents passing through the charity’s doors.
The students will be filling a Marketing and Communications Assistant Volunteer role, created by the charity with Marjon’s BA (Hons) Journalism students specifically in mind. It will involve planning, developing, implementing and supporting marketing campaigns, generating content for campaigns and preparing content for Citizens Advice Plymouth’s social media channels.
Offering students the chance to become a potential volunteer for the charity comes as an initiative from Citizens Advice Plymouth to increase their volunteers, in order to increase and expand their ability to have a positive impact on the Plymouth community.
Chosen students can expect to gain valuable work experience with Citizens Advice Plymouth alongside their studies, whilst also preparing them for working life in a relevant industry role. As charity volunteers, selected students can expect to interact with leading professionals across multiple sectors in the city.
Emma Handley, CEO of Citizens Advice Plymouth, said: “At Citizens Advice Plymouth we take pride in providing free, confidential and independent advice to those who live, work and study in the city.
“The partnership with the Journalism degree at Marjon University will see students work alongside our Communications and Research and Campaigns team to help further this work.
“Volunteers play an important part in the ethos of Citizens Advice Plymouth and we are excited to be creating more opportunities for people to get involved in the range of work we do across the city.
“We are looking forward to students playing an important part in raising awareness of our clients’ problems and helping to improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives.”
Mike Baker, a senior lecturer in Journalism at Marjon, who helped set up the initiative, said: “I’m so excited about this new partnership. We are really keen that our students get involved in their city, rather than exist in isolation on campus.
“Student journalists have to learn how to tell powerful and compelling stories, but also real ones, which affect the people around them. Working with CA Plymouth will expose them to a wide range of issues and challenges, and it’s so important that they engage with them.
“Journalism has the power to change; if our students can effect that, through working with Citizens Advice, it would be such excellent experience while also helping give a voice to some sections of society who don’t always get heard.”
Michael Palmer, the first Journalism student on the new scheme, said: “I feel so privileged to be able to ground the skills I’m learning at university in such an inspiring and community focused environment. I’m becoming much more aware of the breadth of issues facing people in the world today.
“Whilst developing my Journalism skillset is vital to me and my future career, applying these skills to something that’s really making a difference is what drives my passion for Journalism in the first place. Citizens Advice Plymouth offers me that balance between the two.
“I’m getting the chance to work as part of a dynamic marketing and communications team, on real press and marketing campaigns, whilst learning how to navigate a workplace. The work that I’m doing here has a purpose and meaning to me, and that’s what makes it so rewarding.”
Citizens Advice Plymouth provides free and confidential advice to anyone in the local area, for any problems they may be facing – covering everything from consumer and financial issues to personal ones. Citizens Advice Plymouth alone helped over 11,000 people in the city last year, thanks to a team of 93 dedicated local staff and volunteers.
Citizens Advice Plymouth already works closely with Plymouth City Council, The Herald, EDF Energy and the Money Advice Service, among others.
Not a Journalism student? You can still apply for a volunteer role with Citizens Advice! More information can be found about all of their roles and availability here: www.citizensadviceplymouth.org.uk/volunteering