A week in the life of….. Ikram Butt – Connecting Communities Manager

It’s the second week into the New Year and I am full optimism. The year ended well after lots of hard work by everyone who produced some great results and the festive break was certainly well deserved at the Foundation. Everyone is getting stuck back into work.

The whole team has had an inspirational boost from our Executive Chair, Paul Rowson. He really is a visionary leader with the ability to inspire the staff, create opportunities and we are all incredibly grateful to have him on board. He has an abundance of energy and I always look forward to spending time with him.

This week has been quite different to my usual routine. My role involves going out and meeting a wide range of people, from partners to volunteers. However, this week there is more office work than usual. I am based at the Leeds Metropolitan University’s Carnegie Campus in Headingly. Leeds Met is one of our key partners since the birth of the project.

I get into the office first thing in the morning. I like to catch up on any correspondence from the end of last week and stuff that has built up over the weekend. I check the Leeds rugby / foundation website for news and local news sites to see what community groups are up to. My role requires me to be in touch with community issues, so I like to dedicate some time to doing my research.

I have to work on a workshop presentation which will be presented for the Equity and Diversity conference, organised by the Rugby Football League. We are delighted that our project has been recognised as a ‘model’ of good working practice. The audience will be made up of Super League community managers, amateur club members, volunteers and many others. This will be a great opportunity to share our experience and learning. I have spent a lot of time thinking about this presentation and am keen to get it just right. I plan to spend some more time perfecting it throughout January.

Today I attended a meeting at the Bradford Youth Development Partnership (BYDP). It had been in the diary for some time now. The meeting was to explore potential opportunities and areas to work together. It was a productive meeting and we left with some action points which we will follow up prior to the next meeting. We are always trying to create and develop projects that will leave a lasting and measurable change. We want to make the projects sustainable, so they can continue to benefit individuals and communities for many years to come.

I also spent some time this morning doing a job description, not the most exciting task to do! But such things are important. It helps with clarifying roles and responsibilities. I am not a huge fan of such paper work but realise its importance. Times like this I wish I had a PA!

It is great being based at the Carnegie Campus because it means I have a lot of interaction with young people and students who are interested in doing community work. This morning a few volunteers popped in and we had a good chat about some projects they could get involved in, that are linked to their studies. I am really impressed with the passion and commitment from some of the young people. They really want to make positive change in their communities and I look forward to helping them out where I can.

I spent most of the morning working on my workshop presentation, really need to brush up on my IT skills, and could be a new year’s resolution! In addition to that I have been doing some project planning. I enjoy meeting people with fresh and innovative ideas; it keeps me thinking about how we can work in different ways at the Foundation. On that note I better call Starr to confirm our meeting for tomorrow.

It’s the last day of my working week. I have completed the job description and other administrative stuff. No luck on getting a P.A. so I won’t hold my breath. Having wrapped up the weeks work and confirmed a few meetings for next week, I am ready to meet Starr. It is our first meeting of the New Year, so we will have a good catch up and plan some of the projects and logistics for the coming weeks. Starr and I work closely together and he will be doing the presentation with me.

We have been working together for some time and his contribution to the project has been fantastic!
As a Board Member of Mosaic , I attended a meeting with the new regional coordinator this evening, she seems very enthusiastic and ready to take Mosaic into new grounds. We have arranged a networking dinner for next week, so I look forward to that.