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Sammie's first month at SSEC

Friday 18th June 2016, 14:06

Sammie BallingerOne month and one day ago I started my new role at SSEC. Here are a few thoughts on my first month, and a few things I’d LOVE some feedback on.

A day in the life of a CD Worker?
My background is primarily communications, social media and education so I have a lot to learn about the day-to-day practicalities of community development work. The more reading I do, the more conversations I have, the more I’m getting my head around the realities of the job, though I’d love to learn more. Please get in touch if you’re a CD worker, and if you’d be happy for me to come along to see you, have a chat, watch you at work, and maybe profile you in our blogs or magazine. You can email me at or tel 0114 241 2742.

I’m really keen to spend some time with CD Workers, partly because that’s how I learn – the penny drops a WHOLE lot quicker for me when I see the work being done, but also because, as my role as Development Officer – Communications, I’m trying to identify the best ways to communicate with you all.

New developments, and supporting YOU to explore social media
I flew into action with a few small, but significant changes when I joined SSEC – a few quick wins which I’ve already mentioned elsewhere, but will repeat because I’m annoying like that!

If the world of social media is a bit intimidating to you, I’d highly recommend attending one of SKiLD’s Social Media courses – Yes it’s a blatantly plug for some ex colleagues but, more importantly, I’ve worked with Paul Webster in particular, and can’t speak highly enough about his training and support. Likewise, feel free to get in touch with me and I’ll support you or try to point you in the direction of someone local that can help.

Decoding CD Language
As with any new job, there is a certain amount of decoding and translating of unfamiliar acronyms and jargon when you get started. Starting at SSEC a few weeks ago has been no exception. I’ve struggled with the common use of “CD” here (I think of compact discs, and things being “seedy!”) but that’s not the worst of it for me – enter a new Government, new buzzwords, and new roles and I’m a bit baffled. Here are a couple today’s questions/thoughts…

  1. Third sector bad: civil society good?
  2. What is the difference between a community development worker, and a community organiser?
  3. Big Society – I’m really confused about some of the practicalities. Fair enough seeing as I’m new and all, but why does everyone else seem just as confused as I am? As an aside I’m about to read this (recommended by a fair few people): “Ten Big Questions about the Big Society: and ten ways to make the best of it” from nef.

That reminds me, if anyone gets as confused as me by some of the acronyms etc, don't forget that we have a Jargon Buster!

Sammie Tanns, Development Officer - Communications

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