I joined EPEV because I wanted to learn more about public affairs in Wales and to use my knowledge and experience from my academic career to benefit others, particularly those in Wales. Specifically, I wanted to get onto a board of a charity or school to benefit the communities in Wales, to learn more about good governance, and to act as a critical friend to organisations who were open to learning and growing and have their members’ interests at heart.
Being part of the programme has been a hugely beneficial experience. Through the training sessions and the Whatsapp group, I have been able to learn more about the work of other mentees in a supportive and encouraging environment and build a network with those interest in the same social and political issues. The training sessions increased my knowledge of and confidence in engaging meaningfully with public life in Wales. The speakers were inspirational – many had overcome personal and/or professional adversity to get where they are today; some are still facing adversity and continue to use their position to benefit others. I found the sessions – and the speakers – supportive, empowering, and inspiring. I was incredibly fortunate to have been paired with a tremendous mentor from whom I have learned so much. My mentor has encouraged me every step of this journey – giving me the confidence to write an article for a news outlet, providing me with feedback on my ideas and writing, sharing opportunities and putting me in contact with people who could help me fulfil my aim of making a contribution to public life in Wales, and, crucially, working with me to write my non-exec CV (which was a challenging task that was made so much easier by my mentor’s input and guidance).
I have recently been appointed as a Governor of Coleg y Cymoedd; EPEV and the support and encouragement from my mentor enabled me to find my voice in public life and put together a strong application. I’m incredibly grateful to have been able to take part in the programme.