If I’m honest, what originally led me to the SAFE Foundation was my mum’s relentless nagging for me to find something productive to do in the Summer and keep me off the sofa watching Love Island repeats all day. Having given in, all the internship opportunities I initially found seemed too corporate and intimidating, until I stumbled across SAFE’s media and marketing role. Marketing is an area I’ve thought about following in the future and having travelled with my family to countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka, the work SAFE does in developing countries really resonated with me and I was keen to find out more. Little did I know that what started as something to please my mum would end up being an extremely rewarding and valuable few weeks with a charity I am now really passionate about.

What I’ve learnt

Eager to find out if marketing was a career I actually wanted to pursue, SAFE allowed me to dive right into the PR world. From creating social media posts to designing posters to writing blogs for the website, I’ve been able to get involved in every aspect of SAFE’s marketing plan. I packed a lot into my 6-week internship and learnt from people with real experience in the marketing world about things like the writing style needed for different posts and how to use online tools to most effectively promote SAFE. I’ve also been lucky enough to research and write about some fascinating topics, including travelling sustainably in Cambodia and the issues surrounding our throwaway coffee culture, widening my appreciation of the problems in the world, as well as SAFE’s mission.

I’ve also done things I wasn’t expecting to! I helped out on a brand-new Barista training day for young people not in education, by helping to create and deliver a short presentation about social media and how it can be used by businesses to attract customers. It was nerve-wracking to say the least, but actually ended up being really fun and I even learnt some things myself about the process of coffee production and Fairtrade products.

On top of this, I gained even more experience by volunteering in the charity’s new Ethical Boutique store. I haven’t worked in retail before, so this was really eye-opening and a great experience. I was able to develop my customer interaction skills, practice using a till, sell items on the shop’s Depop page and have fun dressing the mannequins. The best thing was that I got first pick of the clothes people brought in!

Challenges

It hasn’t been completely smooth sailing. With other members of the SAFE team being understandably busy and having other important trips and tasks to be getting on with, I’ve learnt to use my own initiative and massively improved my confidence in working independently. I’m lucky that SAFE have allowed me to take charge of certain posts and content and trusted my opinion, although they were always at the end of the phone (or Whatsapp chat) to answer my questions and help me through whenever I got stuck. While the internship hasn’t come without its challenges, these have ultimately enabled me to grow and push myself, making the experience really rewarding.

Overall, I’d have to say my time with SAFE has been wonderful. I’ve worked with some amazing people and learnt so much about the important projects SAFE run, as well as about myself. I couldn’t recommend it more for people who, like me, are a bit unsure of what they want to do in the future, want to spend time with some of the friendliest, most enthusiastic and supportive people you could meet, and do some real good at the same time.

I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has made my short time here so great, especially Hannah, Angie, Georgia and Abbey!