Being Thrown in at the Deep End: Volunteering For CSM
I have absolutely loved my time at CSM. It has been the most interesting, fun and friendly working environment I have experienced and I have had a fantastic time. I have learned loads and am really grateful for the opportunity to volunteer here. I have worked here for the past 2 and a half months as part of my gap year between school and university, this short amount of time doesn’t seem long enough and I wish I could be involved for longer! CSM has a small office staff so I have had the privilege of being ‘thrown in the deep end’ in terms of the work I’ve been doing!
I’ve learned an awful lot about administration while working here, skills which I’m sure I will use in the future. I have done various tasks and projects while I’ve been here, spending a significant amount of time working on the website and uploading articles and news to it. It has been brilliant to be allowed to draft a few press releases and prayer guides, and to see the work I have done instantly on the internet! Reading through all the articles and information on the CSM website has made me far better informed about current needs in the UK and the world and how Christians are responding. I had never heard of vulture funds before working here, now I explain what they are to everyone!
I’ve also been working on the way we store our member’s records, which sounds dull but has been good fun. The office manager, Jay, has ensured I keep smiling as I delete a record for the third time because it keeps coming back! I have liked writing letters to members and receiving responses addressed to me! Seeing how an office is run has been very interesting and useful, and Jay’s unrelenting organisation has forced me to tidy up my desk and my computer files, which I’m sure I’ll thank her for one day!
I’ve enjoyed working in Labour HQ, where CSM is situated, just near the Houses of Parliament. While I’m pretty disappointed the Prime Minister hasn’t popped by, it has been great working with so many other Labour Party organisations and seeing the place where decisions are made. Meeting Jesse Jackson was definitely a highlight. It reinforced the idea that the work done here is nationally important and makes a difference. I have enjoyed getting involved with the Christians in Parliament events; and the Bible studies have been really helpful to focus my attention back on God in the middle of a stressful day. Working with Christian colleagues has also been fantastic, it has been great to have their support and prayer, and knowing that we have the same principles has made it easier for me to fit in and forge friendships with them, and to explore and understand our different Christian beliefs.
Another project I have worked on has been publicising the Tawney Dialogue. I was able to help draft the press release and invitations which was enjoyable, and phone various media contacts asking them to publicise the event. While phoning 90 media outlets in one afternoon can only be described as soul destroying, I was kept going with the encouragement of the other CSM staff and the knowledge that events like the Tawney are all about getting CSM more involved and expressing God’s heart in the political arena.
Before volunteering with CSM I didn’t think faith should mix with politics (sounds cheesy, but it is in fact the truth). However, somewhere between the team prayer meetings, mini inspirational speeches from Andy, and publishing Christian/ political events on our website I have had a total change of heart. I now tell all my Christian friends how important getting involved with politics is and have a passion for bringing God’s kingdom into the political sphere. My two main passions have always been God and politics, and working for CSM has taught me how to pursue both. (Author: Esther Barlow
Articles in this group
Bring God's Kingdom Here
Rosie writes about what brought her to CSM and what she thinks we're doing now. (Author: Rosie Colthorpe)
Volunteering with the Christian Socialist Movement
Zoe writes about her experience at the Labour Party conference and why she decided to volunteer for the CSM. (Author: Zoe Hart)
A point of view: faith and politics
An article from Christina Grant, a recent volunteer, about what brought her to CSM. (Author: Christina Grant)
The Heartbeat Of A Movement
A summary of Sam's time spent interning with CSM. (Author: Sam Brown)
Three Weeks with CSM
Read Simon's experiences of volunteering with CSM up to and at Labour Party Conference 2010 (Author: Simon Watkinson)
The Real Politics
Read Charlies' account of volunteering with CSM in 2010 (Author: Charlie Baughen)
Read Tom's thoughts on volunteering with CSM (Author: Tom Warnett)
A Volunteer Blog
Read Grace's account of her time with CSM (Author: Grace Vanstone-Hallam)
Volunteering for CSM (Author: )