Meet Jenny Barnard, Apprenticeship Project Coordinator
Jenny Barnard has been working in the Children and Youth team as Apprenticeship Project Coordinator since June 2015. She talks about working with her colleagues and about our apprenticeship project.
The best thing about working for the London Diocesan Fund (LDF) is the people. I really enjoy working with such talented colleagues. The LDF attracts many gifted people.
I have local authority experience and came from a background in outreach and family support and worked with vulnerable families in Early Years. Prior to that I’d co-ordinated and supported gap year volunteers in London. The reason I decided to join was that the job tied in well with the skills I’d developed working with children and young people and gave me the opportunity to manage a project I really believed in – it’s a great fit.
I work in the Children and Youth department and we support children and youth workers across the Diocese. We also have four Apprentice Youth and Children’s workers in Willesden in a pilot scheme, which started in September 2015 and is now being replicated in Kensington with the recruitment of another four apprentices. So far it’s been rewarding, challenging and enjoyable. It’s provided me with more than I expected in terms of stretching my skills which is very pleasing. I very much enjoy working with different people across the Diocese and going out to visit parishes.
In a typical working day there’s a lot of communication (phone and email), arranging visits, events and training, and in helping individuals feel connected to others in the Diocese so they aren’t too isolated. I spend time explaining the apprentice scheme to parishes, recruiting them and apprentices on to the scheme and then giving them on-going support – keeping them motivated and letting them know what they are doing is really important.
My greatest achievement so far has been implementing the pilot Apprentice Scheme. It’s great work because they are making such a difference in their local community. The scheme is in its first year and is a pioneering project for growing youth and children’s work across the Diocese. The potential for new projects is very exciting and I feel that there is a vision here which looks for new opportunities and seeks to experiment and try new things. There is a very positive approach and a faith things will work out.
I very much enjoy it here at the LDF, there’s a great mix of colleagues. It’s a friendly place to work and you feel cared for as an employee – there’s fruit, cycling and fitness is encouraged, with lockers and showers. The new recycling scheme is great – zero to landfill. And there are lots of social events, colleagues are considerate and thoughtful of each other and their working environment.
Jenny Barnard works in the Children and Youth team as Apprenticeship Project Coordinator, running The Bishop of London’s Mission Fund Apprentice Scheme for youth and children’s workers in the Diocese of London.