Meet The Team – Dave – Community Development Officer – Link Up Whitfield
Getting to the job I’m doing now has been a bit of a long and winding road for me. Leaving University freshly armed with a degree in American History I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to work with people and that I was passionate about helping others but apart from that I was a bit lost. I was really lucky to get a job quickly with a fantastic mental health charity called Penumbra and spent the next 5 years supporting people who were socially isolated to get out and about and involved in social activities. I did a lot of 1:1 support and ran group activities in both Dundee and Angus. This was a job that I absolutely loved. It was both challenging and deeply rewarding and it was always amazing to watch people progressing week by week, building their confidence and developing new skills.
From there I took on a management role with Cornerstone and looked after the running of a house where we provided 24 hour care for 2 young men with disabilities. This was challenging in a different way and I learned so much about managing staff and really enjoyed working with the guys on a much deeper level and watching them develop. Following this I also worked for Shelter and the Inclusion Group in Dundee, again providing support to vulnerable people throughout the city. Through these roles I have developed a real passion for social inclusion, fairness and social justice. I hate inequality and am desperate to make a positive difference to society.
After working for Yodel for a couple of years (being a Client Operations Manager is nearly as boring as it sounds!) I was on the lookout for a new job as I was being made redundant. As soon as I saw the job at Link Up in Whitfield advertised my heart was set. Community working, developing volunteers, helping people to reach their potential! I’m so glad I applied and so lucky to be working here. Every day is different and I love the buzz of working with volunteers as they make their ideas a reality. I currently support a weight management group, walking group, dancing, a community café, cinema club and arts and crafts. Each group is different and it has been a joy to watch the development of our volunteers over the last six months. They constantly surprise me with their enthusiasm, ideas and energy and it’s just great to be able to be there to support them. I am absolutely committed to the idea that small groups like Link Up can achieve huge things in communities and am excited to see where we will go in the future.
Outside of work I spend the majority of my time chasing after my 3 boys. My 2 older ones have recently developed a taste for rock climbing so I’m spending a lot of time trying not to panic as they climb up anything at all that looks like it might be remotely climbable. And the youngest just wants to be like his brothers, so he’s not far behind. I also love sports- watching not playing these days. I tried to go back to hockey last year but my body just wouldn’t let me! I’ll watch anything with a ball, often to my wife’s absolute disgust! I enjoy reading anything adventurous or exciting, especially true stories about explorers or people doing amazing things. And I love music – give me The Kinks or Led Zeppelin over today’s music any day!