Preparing for my Travels

The day is drawing closer to which I embark on my trip to Malawi. This will be my first ever time travelling abroad completely by myself and it’s starting to feel like a very daunting (but exciting) adventure.

When I arrive in Blantyre I will be hosted by the Responsible Safari Company, a tour operator who aims to promote sustainable and educational travel. They run tours for school and university field trips, charity work, adventures and challenges as well as people travelling alone to explore some of the key issues communities in Africa are facing. Although I have not met the team at the RSC yet, throughout planning the trip I have had regular contact and they have been extremely helpful with their passion for their work showing through.

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Anticipating the future: StreetInvest placement

When sitting in the house on a rainy day in June it comes to mind that in less than 1 month I will be undertaking my placement with StreetInvest. The excitement for using geography in real life work is what I am most looking forward to during this experience.

I had known that I wanted to do a work placement this summer to gain valuable experience, so applied for the microplacement scheme that Royal Holloway were offering. After going through quite a harsh process I was offered a place on the scheme. However around the same time, the option for this dissertation based placement with StreetInvest it became clear to me that this is the sort of placement that I wanted to undertake! So I applied for both schemes, and after being accepted onto both I decided to choose the one with StreetInvest. This felt amazing; having the choice was a real confidence booster, and has meant that I am thrilled to be able to work with the organisation. Continue reading

Finding the Truth: Out-Of-Home Advertising in the London Underground

In two weeks I begin a dissertation-linked placement with Truth Consulting, a cultural marketing strategist situated in Gresham Street, London. Truth specialise in innovation and branding and work towards combining a knowledge of consumer culture with the world of commerce. I look forward to getting to know industry professionals at Truth, learning about the processes involved in building/improving brands, and combining some of Truth’s ways of thinking with my own research on out-of-home advertising.

Outdoor Advertising

It has sometimes been suggested that outdoor advertisements, or at least the traditional forms, are a dying media. Critics have argued that with digital advertising on the rise, outdoor media is surely a less favourable option. However, consumers spend 70% of their waking hours away from home, dwelling, walking, riding and driving around the built environment of cities and towns. So, surely, these consumers are exposed regularly to outdoor advertising. Outsmart, the UK’s leading outdoor media organisation, even suggest that we are in the “golden age of Out of Home (OOH)” with 98% of the UK population reached by OOH advertising.

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The Introduction

Having only met members of the StreetInvest team a few weeks ago my placement, with a mix of apprehension, uncertainty and excitement, now begins next week. This whole second year has been a blur of essays, field trips and exams. Now, my dissertation looms illustrating the time-old saying that time really does fly.

During exam season I haven’t had time to concentrate my attention on my dissertation idea. As a result, my idea has remained the same for some weeks. At the moment, I wish to explore LGB youth’s experiences of coming out and the subsequent impacts of this. StreetInvest’s work will help me to understand how this can often lead to displacement and youth’s becoming ‘street orientated’. Continue reading

Bridging the Gap – Creativity and Trust

Street workers take on the same role as social workers, the only difference is they work directly with children and youth living on the streets.

Through my dissertation research, I have had the privilege of hearing the voices of a few street workers throughout interviews.

I have learned what their job means to them and how they are creating a positive influence on public, private, and the state. As my dissertation is focused on discrimination, I am also looking at children’s rights and how these are often ignored because the children are not in traditional housing, education and/or jobs.

Children and youth are dehumanised, leading them to further lose faith in themselves. Street Workers are there to provide new faith by giving them a platform to realise their true potential and achieve their dreams. By allowing the the children to realise that they will achieve anything they want to some day because they are as just as worthy as any other person.

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The Commercial value of Culture… I have seen the light!

If you’re a ‘take things in your stride’, ‘cross that bridge when you come to it’ kind of person, then I have to admire you. Unfortunately (for my sanity), I am a Mystic Meg type whose brain never fails to leave me a little anxious after conjuring up yet another future life plan out of nowhere- some realistic and some not so much…hopefully lonely cat lady is one of the latter. Maybe I just need to take a chill pill. I prefer to think of it as ‘organised’ and ‘forward thinking’. Whatever the case, with an imminently approaching final year, the little crystal ball in my head has been hard at work turning my mind to post- graduation possibilities.

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Identity, Perception and Visibility

I have been spending the week reading more journals, reports and articles and watching numerous documentaries just to gain more knowledge about how discrimination affects street children. It’s a very interesting topic and I’m already finding it difficult trying not to talk to everyone I see about street children and StreetInvest. However, while choosing discrimination as a topic for my dissertation, I didn’t truly think about how dark it can be. It has made me realise my own naivety, humans really can be horrific to one another in ways that you can’t imagine. Continue reading

The Importance of being Child-Centric

Today is my third day at StreetInvest and I think I’m starting to get the hang of how the office of an Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) works. I am here to do the main part of the research for my dissertation, but also to get work experience for the future.

streetinvest logo

My dissertation title is “Exploring how the relationship between street-connected children and street workers affect discrimination in Kolkata, India and Freetown, Sierra Leone.” I am very interested to know what kind of discrimination the street-connected children face and how having an adult work with them for guidance changes the effect discrimination has on the child. Continue reading

Truth: Reflections

Today was the penultimate day of my dissertation placement at Truth Consulting and I have mixed emotions. I won’t miss the 6:30am trains and I sure won’t miss the rush hour fight for a space on the tube, but I’m definitely going to miss the incredibly hilarious and talented people I’ve been working with for the last two weeks. Ultimately I’ve learnt so, so much over such a short period of time and this is my attempt to summarise it. Enjoy!079ea69

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Optimising social media’s increasing popularity

Particularly amongst the younger generations, but increasingly within older generations, social media is becoming a more and more relevant part 0f our day to day lives. We tweet news stories, like other people’s activity, and follow the accounts of the ones we love. Social media is a way of communication, a way of being in the now no matter where you are in the world or what time it may be.

Academics within the field of Geography and Sociology speak of a shrinking world, whereby technological advancements, namely social media, result in larger or imagined communities, whereby relationships can span over a wider, seemingly unlimited space. It’s not uncommon for people to meet each other online, communicate with loved ones from thousands of miles away and even share pictures and videos in real-time; social media can no longer be thought of as a ‘new’ touchpoint. It enables powerful and compelling content to be engaged with by a diverse base of people, and brands need to take advantage of this.

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