Meet The Team!

Christie Kelsey - Fundraising Volunteer

In the first of our ‘Meet The Team’ series we are chatting to our fabulous fundraising volunteer Christie! As well as working on her Masters, she finds the time to research into and apply for (often successfully!) fundraising grants which help with the running costs of Hope English School and make a huge difference to the work we are able to do.

Christie is currently part of the Postgraduate Advantage Scheme, which is a 100 hour internship for postgraduate students at the University of Sheffield, to help them gain practical work experience and enhance their CV. It’s funded by the university so that students can get experience working in areas that usually don’t have the funds to take on interns, such as the charity/community sector. 

Christie in India with some of her students

Christie in India with some of her students

Read on as we get Christie to answer a few questions to find out a bit more about her…

How did you first get involved in Hope English School?

 I first got in touch with HES to look at maybe doing some teaching, I had done a few projects with the British Council (Thailand, France, India) when I was at university and did my CELTA in early 2017 and then spent 18 months working in an English School in Auckland.

I met Katy at the Volunteering fair at Sheffield University, and Anna got in touch to ask if I’d be interested in Research and Fundraising as they had no teaching roles - and here I am now!

What specifically does your role involve?

I research potential trusts and funding bodies, find ones whose criteria we match, then write applications. I work closely with Anna on these to identify what we need funding for, and where we can get this from, e.g. resources for teachers/office, core costs for the day-to-day running of HES, and for putting on classes. 

 I have also moved onto researching the need in Sheffield and surrounding areas, researching the asylum/refugee process and issues, looking for data about the importance of ESOL and refugees. I also look for other ESOL providers in the area, looking for gaps and where the need is for us! 

I am also looking at how we can measure and evaluate the impact and outcomes of our work. 

What do you like most about working for HES? 

It gives me a break from the library! It’s a bit of light relief from reading about war and terrorism and bad things in the world. 

I really enjoyed teaching but it is nice to approach ESOL from a different direction. 

HES is a small group of some really lovely people and I enjoy working with them. I have learnt a lot since I started and it has given me a lot of ideas about the direction I want to go in once I finish my studies. It is also a great feeling when the hard work that goes into writing a grant application pays off and it gets accepted! 

It’s nice to know that I’m making a difference.

What else do you do with the rest of your week when you are not working for HES?

I’m doing a Masters at University of Sheffield (International Public and Political Communication) so most of my time is spent in the library… 

Have you always lived in Sheffield, if not what brought you here?

No! I grew up in Birmingham, and studied for my undergrad degree in Leeds (which included a year in France and a summer teaching in Thailand). I then spent time in India teaching and then moved to New Zealand for two years. I came to Sheffield to start my Masters in 2018.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?

I’d worked in 5 different countries by the time I was 22!