Who we are
Our names are Kitty and Laura and we have just finished our degrees in Sociology and Criminology at Leeds Beckett University. Since completing our degrees we both took part in the graduate programme with Leeds Beckett University to seek advice and gain new skills in the workplace. We both choose Nifty Sustainability for our internship because we are both personally interested in investing our time into more ethical practices such as recycling more, eradicating fast fashion purchases where possible and learning about sustainability as a whole. As well as understanding more about the usefulness of co-production. We are beginning to understand how important this is, especially in today’s climate where large corporations, fashion and technology are more accessible than ever!
What we are doing
We have both been assigned different tasks within different areas, however, we both have the end aim of gaining insight into what Nifty do, as well as personal reflection around the topic. I (Laura) am currently learning about co-production as a research method and how this relates to IMAS (a mixed ability sport organisation). I began by attending a conference on co-production, transgender males in sport and allyship. The conference was useful as it provided the groundwork into the different types of co-production and the potential issues which allowed me think about how this relates to IMAS. I also completed an online course (created by Nifty) which taught me about the work IMAS do and how they break down barriers for the inclusion of people with disabilities into sport; this is achieved through peer education as educational resources are developed alongside those with disabilities and then provided to other clubs through weekly training sessions. I also attended one of IMAS’s weekly classes. From this, I began to read the current literature on co-production in order to write up a literature review. Whereas I (Kitty) have been focusing on Nifty’s social media accounts, and attempting to put ideas into practice so they utilise these platforms to their full potential. I feel like Nifty sustainability would benefit from creating a small community via different social media, to allow them to encourage and educate people online, and to contribute to the fantastic work they do in real life! Furthermore, I have really attempted to immerse myself into this opportunity, and attended a workshop in Shipley surrounding the ideas of sustainability. I felt this was both necessary and useful, as I was given a deeper insight into why the notion of being more ‘green’ conscious and engaging with our carbon emissions is salient. As fulfilling the needs of today’s society, whilst not compromising the environment for future generations will ensure that the ecosystem and natural resources are able to remain preserved.
Who we thought Nifty were
When we first sat down together at the ‘get ready for work week’ (held by Leeds Beckett University) we began to discuss what the work experience may entail, yet we both found ourselves asking the same questions - What do Nifty Sustainability do? Who are they and what kind of work would we be doing? We were also unsure about what kinds of organisations would work with them and the role of Nifty specifically. We understood they did research, however, how they manifested this into wider work with corporations was still a question we both had. Despite this uncertainty, we were both excited to discover more about the positioning and function they provided within their consultancy and research work.
What we know of Nifty now
From being half way through the project we have both gained the answers for our questions and acquired new knowledge on the work Nifty does. We now understand that companies such as IMAS (international mixed ability sport) and the University of Leeds, utilise Nifty’s expertise in the field of social research and educational resources to inform better sustainable practices as well as creating online courses for different organisations. We have realised the vitality of the work Nifty are doing, and how they are helping businesses and organisations make positive social change and therefore making our world a cleaner, more ethical and sustainable place to live in.
How has this experience impacted us?
We would both like to express how thankful we are for the opportunity at Nifty, and how this internship has helped us to shape our individual values as well as thinking beyond ourselves. We have realised how similar the ethics and principles of this company are to our personal beliefs. The passion for positive social changes align with us, as well as our degrees so we have been placed perfectly to work for Nifty during this time. Within the political and financial fields of today, the work being done at Nifty and similar organisations are often undervalued or overlooked, hence this has reiterated the importance of their work. Another thing we would like to mention is how ethical, inclusive and welcoming the team at Nifty have been to us. This experience would not have been as enjoyable or easy to navigate without Jen, Claire, Becki and the others so we want to give our gratitude for this also. We are excited to see what is to come for our future ventures, as well as Nifty’s…