Working life at Cumbria Community Foundation

9th May 2019

Name: Rebecca Delin

Job title: Media and Content Officer

Employer: Cumbria Community Foundation

Where are you from? Whitehaven

Where do you live now? Whitehaven

Where do you work? I am very lucky to be based at Dovenby Hall in Cumbria Community Foundation’s offices, situated in beautiful grounds – I have a gorgeous view out of my office window.

How long have you done this job? Part-time since November 2018 and it’s perfect as it fits around my photography business.

Take us through a typical day: I start work at 8.15 after taking my daughter to school. I’m usually the first to arrive and the person who puts the kettle on. It’s then down to business!

I usually start by checking emails and our social media platforms. I then check the daily papers for relevant articles and then it’s all about creating content for social media, newsletters, press reports and our website to highlight the work of the Foundation and how it connects people who care with causes that matter in Cumbria.

It’s non-stop as it’s the Foundation’s 20th anniversary this year. Our target is to raise £250,000 for the Cumbria Fund to enable even more groups to do what they do best – helping improve lives in Cumbria.

We are encouraging people and businesses to get involved and take part in their own challenge to help raise money for the Cumbria Fund, which supports around 50 community projects each year.

I’m never stuck for something to write about as Cumbria Community Foundation has distributed £44million in grants to more than 4,000 groups and 8,000 individuals over the last 20 years. It’s my job to write about these groups.

I recently wrote a lovely story about the community of Caldbeck and how a vast number of projects, managed by Northern Fells Group, has received more than £122,000 in grants to support its community.

I visited the heart-warming community project called ‘Men in Sheds’. It was lovely to meet the group, and I had the opportunity to take some great photos.

I spend most of my time creating content. This includes writing grant stories and newsletters to designing leaflets and imagery. There is always plenty to do but we always make time for a lunch break, when we discuss the weekend’s shenanigans and the latest Netflix series that everyone is watching.

Because it’s so busy, the days fly by.

I always learn something new and look forward to learning about the next funded project, taking the next photograph or attending the next event.

What do you like most about the job? There is never a dull moment! I enjoy meeting new people, attending events and learning about great people in our community. Chatting with people about their lives and having the opportunity to create videos and take photographs is my favourite part of the job.

What do you like least? Tea breaks when I’m made to eat cake and biscuits, it’s just not great for the waistline.

Why did you want to do this job? It’s perfect for me! I have always admired the work of Cumbria Community Foundation and took this as a great opportunity to work with a great team of people who do great work with fundholders to meet the very real needs and issues in our local communities. It’s very rewarding, fulfilling and there is always something new to learn.

What jobs have you done previously? I am also a freelance photographer and have been for over 11 years, mainly portraits and commercial photography for social media. It’s taken me as far as Spain and once a year I still go and help a horse riding holiday business called Hacienda Horses with its media and photography. This is really great because I can take my family to enjoy the sunshine: the only thing is, we have been known to bring a rescue dog or two back, so we are a slightly bigger family now.

I also worked as a college lecturer for 13 years and I worked at The Beacon, Whitehaven Tourist Information Centre, and Summergrove Halls. While studying for a degree, I was lucky enough to gain work experience in South Africa with an events company and then with the SA Tourist Board as well as a working holiday in Greece and a job swap in Cyprus with Limassol Tourist Information Centre.

What qualifications or experience do you need? A relevant degree include advertising, public relations, business, digital marketing, media and journalism. It is helpful to support the team in promoting the organisation by raising its profile and awareness within the local community.

There are work-based routes too, such as Creative and Digital Media Apprenticeships.

Being self-motivated and a people-person is essential, along with having media skills that helps you connect with people. Having a creative skill such as photography is also very useful as marketing is very visual.

Ideally you need to be a dynamic storyteller with excellent writing skills, social media understanding and experience within PR, events and media relations.

What is a typical salary for this job? £24,000

Any advice for people wanting to get into your profession? Do as much training as you can to give you a variety of media skills, there are lots of opportunities online. Volunteer your skills to gain lots of experience – this is invaluable and helps to make contacts which may lead to a job in the future.

Be confident and never turn down an opportunity you never know where it might lead.