An interview with Bethany James
Bethany James first joined The Challenge to work as an NCS senior mentor in 2015. She continued to enjoy different seasonal roles with us whilst working in a secondary school in London. She became a permanent member of staff at The Challenge in the sales team in November 2017 and now works with the programmes team as a delivery programme associate manager.
A typical working day is…
“The only way I can describe the summer delivery period is hectic!
It’s all about responding to what’s happening on the ground, advising members of staff, visiting waves and checking the quality of programmes is maintained. I also ensure that all risk assessments are up-to-date and distributed to all necessary staff. Having first worked on the programme in 2015, I feel that there has been a growing focus on young people’s mental health, with mental health advisors in each zone and tailored support plans for young people. We are able to signpost both young people and parents to external organisations to ensure that support is continued beyond the programme, which I think is fantastic!
At the moment we are celebrating how much has been achieved over the summer programme – this also involves preparing for graduation and contacting young people who need to make up volunteering hours.
At this point of the year, I am also working to ensure that both our seasonal staff and partners are able to work with us in the future. This involves giving seasonal staff feedback and reconciling all finances from the money raised through the young people’s volunteering so that it reaches our community partners.”
My favourite thing about my job is…
“I enjoy seeing young people develop, seeing them open up about difficulties in their lives – it shows just how comfortable they are on the programme. It is so rewarding to see how the strategies that we implement help them through the programme and help them to grow in confidence.”
The thing I find most challenging about my job is…
“Keeping a clear head, as there are so many things to juggle.”
When I’m not working…
“Music! I play the violin and piano and I studied music at King’s College London. I now sing with a choir that I joined while at uni. I’m also a member of an amateur opera company and we’re preparing for a performance of The Magic Flute in the new year.
Outside of work, I also volunteer for the Prince’s Trust mentoring a young person, and I am on a befriending letter-writing scheme.”
My favourite quote is…
“‘Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.’”