Karin shares some of her highlights of a career within community development.

"I saw the advert for a Community Development Officer at the time when I was looking for a job. I wanted to continue pursing community development, and I was happy to find a role in Carr Gomm that involved a combination of community gardening, growing food, being outside and working with a local community which I knew a little from doing outreach work with the Bridgend allotments which at the time was a joint initiative with the NHS."

"I have worked for Carr Gomm for seven years. I am motivated by the people I help along the way, through the various activities that people get involved in. My main hope is that I can be seen as a Facilitator as opposed to project officer, workshop leader etc. I am driven by the sheer diversity that I can make for myself in the job to best help members of the community. I also like working in partnership with other organisations that have contacts with families in the area, and these close partnerships have led to many fruitful collaborations."

"I am autonomous, which I like, but the job requires a lot of lone working and managing complex issues that people may experience on one’s own. It’s not for everyone. I was previously a senior Art therapist in an acute ward at Bellsdyke hospital so I got a lot of training on how to stand back and reflect, but it can be very hard to see the wood from the trees."

"I can work with up to 50 people a week within different work settings. This can be very rewarding. I enjoy being busy and the best part is the development support that I get and the freedom to experiment and develop my ideas. I cannot fault Carr Gomm for allowing me to take this line of work into many directions!"

"A typical day pre-Covid-19 would have seen me delivering probably one or two workshops a day with many different groups of people, adults, families, youth groups, schools doing a variety of outdoor based activities such as, walking, growing food or facilitating cooking and blether workshops. My work could also see me facilitating and help coordinate events for the community, develop open green spaces, sensory gardens, develop material for schools and teachers to use, connect organisations together, help with referals ,Develop new programmes with local organisations and help with their outdoor spaces, be it bringing in new volunteers, delivering workshops for them and other activities."

The work dynamic has changed during Covid19. I have been delivering workshops digitally and I have also started a walking group and started a new group doing crafts, cooking,anything in a local community garden to bring people back together in a safe space with risk assesments in place for Covid. Next year, I will start up a Branching out programme with members from Carr Gomm."