Social Media Apprentice
I'm a student on a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship with Adur & Worthing Councils. I began this apprenticeship in 2017 after completing my A Levels at Worthing College. I'm really looking forward to learning about the business environment and working with highly experienced colleagues who have success in the field I'd love to work in.
My role at the council primarily includes posting on social media, taking photos, creating videos and also the occasional piece of writing. Not forgetting the tea rounds which is really a job in its own right!
You can read Daniel's current 2018 blog posts on this page below - or click here to read his archive of 2017 blog posts ...
I hope you all enjoyed your weekend and are motivated for the week ahead!
This week I thought I'd write about my trip to Highdown Gardens, where a small group of us celebrated the 50th anniversary of Highdown being under council ownership.
For those who didn't know - Monday marked 50 years to the day that Lady Sybil Stern handed over the gardens on the wishes of her husband, Sir Frederick.
Sir Frederick, who sadly passed away in 1967, requested in his book A Chalk Garden, that the gardens should be handed over to the Council in such an event as his passing.
Ever since Worthing Borough Council's inheritance, generations of sensational managers and staff have devoted themselves to taking care of the world famous gardens!
History lesson over, let's crack on with the day itself.
Upon arrival I recalled visiting the gardens a few years back.
Flashbacks passed through my mind of a warm summer's day that possibly featured a traditional British picnic. One most likely filled with crisp cucumber sandwiches, homemade scotch eggs and sweet as you like cherry bakewells ... probably not 100% true but it sounds good enough!
Any Adur and Worthing residents who happened to look out a window yesterday will know that the weather wasn't ideal for the celebration.
Nevertheless, the turnout was pretty good! It was a pleasure to meet the family of Sir Frederick and hear from the dedicated Highdown Gardens volunteers, both of which had wonderful stories to share on the day.
After a brief chat in the small but cozy staff living room the gang headed out to the Millennium Garden, where a new bench with one very special plaque was to be based.
Worthing Mayor, Cllr Alex Harman, had prepared a special speech for the historic occasion, which touched on not only the fascinating past of the gardens but also the exciting years ahead.
Cllr Harman said that although the plaque may be a relatively small gesture to the gardens, it certainly means a great deal to those there that day.
Speech done and dusted, I gathered everyone around the bench for a photograph which would be cherished for a very long time by the Councils.
Photograph captured (see below), the group headed back into the warm and ended the anniversary with quick brew and a piece of cake.
Thanks for reading!
I thought to mention that as it gets nearer to the summer I'll be looking to spend more time at Highdown with the camera, so if you spot me there be sure to say hello ...
At last, it's beginning to feel like spring; after what seemed like a long, dull and bitterly cold winter.
I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, watching my mighty Spurs overcome Arsenal in the prestigious North London Derby to earn 3 precious Premier League points!
Right, now down to business ...
This week I thought I'd write about dogs - After all we are a nation of pooch lovers!
This fondness is no more evident than when we share some dog warden news on our social media channels. They receive an amazing level of engagement from you all!
We have two fantastic dog wardens at Adur & Worthing Councils, who send us updates on the heartwarming stories and, unfortunately, the heartbreaking ones too.
One half of our Dog Warden team is Russ Akehurst; who I'm sure many of you have bumped into while walking your dogs across the districts.
Russ is actually one of the first members of staff I collaborated with on my apprenticeship. Together we filmed 'a Day in the Life of a Dog Warden' video, which to date continues to be my most successful project.
The day's action summed up Russ' role perfectly.
We had park patrols; multiple investigations to animal welfare reports, house inspections on behalf of the Dogs Trust, and most importantly the collection and return of a stray dog.
While out with Russ I realised just how much respect he obtained from the community. Even those who had allegations against them were very welcoming, recognising that he's just trying to look after their dogs' welfare.
By the end of the day, I was truly knackered! We must have covered all of Worthing, but it was an incredibly rewarding experience.
With this being a blog dedicated to dogs, I just couldn't help but feature mine!
The Fairman household is also home to Oscar (see photo right) - our Border Terrier cross who we think is around 10 years old.
Being a rescue dog from Ireland he certainly has his issues. This can range from something relatively normal such as barking at the postman, to then barking at something minuscule like leaves blowing down the driveway ... he's certainly a character!
Even incredibly annoying behaviour like this doesn't justify some of the actions our dog wardens report.
Before joining the Councils in August I had no clue that we even offered a dog warden service! But spending one day with Russ certainly highlighted why it's so important.
Thanks for reading!
See also: Dog wardens
If you didn't happen to see the 'Day in the Life of a Dog Warden' video, you can watch it below:
This week I have once again been at Brooklands Park to give you regular updates on the huge development taking place on the lake.
As I'm sure you know by now I provide this update in video form, as in my opinion it's far more engaging with the viewer than reading a lengthy article.
The video was decent! It allowed the viewers to hear from the project manager himself as to why the development is behind schedule, what the challenges have been and also how they plan to overcome them.
Something that I've learned to appreciate in my short time in video is how much time can be invested into the shortest of creations. That's why I'll never hand out rubbish film reviews when I simply can't imagine how much effort has gone into producing them ... unless they really are garbage.
From experience, I've learnt that the most important process of any filming is the planning. As soon as I arrive on site I'm assessing the area - considering the main components such as location, lighting and sound.
One component that I can never get used to at Brooklands is Jacob Dew, the Project Manager at Five Rivers (photo below). The man is a giant! - An issue certainly not helped by us having a relatively short tripod. It's lightweight, but even when fully extended it can't shoot people over 6ft very well.
Previously I've filmed on the edge of a slippery grass bank just to get a level shot!
Even in the latest meeting between myself and Jacob, he volunteered to stand on the edge of a wet bank while I was set-up on the bridge overlooking the lake. Fortunately, it worked.
“Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.” - a Bear Grylls tagline
With Brooklands being a seaside destination you always have to consider the strong wind as a potential issue. Luckily on the day, the conditions were fine, however if not I would need to evaluate where to position ourselves.
Thankfully we have a really good microphone in comms. We are using the Rode Videomic Pro, which has a bypass setting available (this means it will automatically reduce unwanted noise such as howling wind and noisy passing cars).
Sometimes there are some variables you simply can't control!
On the day Jacob just couldn't string together the words he desired. It happens to the best of us.
This wasn't an issue. It just resulted in plenty of takes and ten minutes of footage to go through ...
Because of circumstances like this I always carry an extra battery. Ninety percent of the time it's never required, but it's better to be safe than sorry!
Believe it or not, sometimes I'm at fault too!
A few months back I learnt the hard way that visiting Brooklands requires a spare change of shoes, wellies if possible. Sticky wet mud was slowly becoming part of my classic Oxfords on our tour around the lake with the Five Rivers team.
Us photographers/videographers work in all weathers!
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this little piece of insight into some of the unknown variables my roles here can include.
See also: Brooklands Park
The finished video is available below ...
Somehow, today's blog is actually my tenth for the Councils!
Story number ten seems like an ideal one to focus the conversation on my apprenticeship as a whole, as I'm constantly asked whether it's met my expectations or not.
Let's start at the beginning.
Not so long ago, I was constantly being questioned about where I aspired to be in a few years time. Like most my age, I had no clue! I had always considered apprenticeships as an option for myself. Knowing that I didn't want to continue at college or head off to uni, apprenticeships appeared to be a sensible option.
Searching online I discovered the huge variety of apprenticeships available. The 'huge' amount of options suddenly became quite small, as from college I'd learnt I wanted to pursue a career in media. Once the results were narrowed down I spotted this very apprenticeship and applied, hopeful of being selected for the process.
Fortunately, I got it. The rest is history!
I feel as if I have achieved so much since starting back in August, yet I still have over a year remaining on the 18-month programme!
It's done everything it says on the tin: I'm earning a salary, receiving training from colleagues, achieving a qualification and gaining both confidence and experience in the workplace.
So you'd recommend one?
In a word. Yes!
Like myself, you may know the field you'd love to work in. Finding an apprenticeship in this 'desired' field can allow you to continue developing your understanding. Opposed to possibly jumping in at the deep end in a role that requires experience you don't yet have.
Or you could be the opposite. Maybe, you enter a role that you have never considered before. You may complete the 18-month programme with a new-found interest in your role. Who knows?
Hopefully I've given you or someone you know something to consider.
Thanks for reading!
And no, I haven't been told to write this!
Photo: Worthing seafront
Welcome to another blog on all things Communications.
This week I thought I'd write about my photography role at the Councils.
I have always loved photography, so I was delighted to hear that I would effectively take ownership of the Communications camera when I began my apprenticeship.
Being a Formula 1 fanatic my favourite photographer is Darren Heath, an artist who specialises in covering the pinnacle of motorsport.
Admittedly, working for my local council couldn't be any further away from Formula 1 if I tried! The style of photography I'm shooting is on the other end of the spectrum to Heath's ... though this doesn't prevent me from adding some creative flow to my photographs!
One of my responsibilities is to source new banners for our social media pages. Normally these are just taken when the opportunity presents itself, but some are taken on special occasions.
Follow us on social media:
I'm a sucker for a sunset! My usual plan of action to capture the sky at it's most dramatic is to head down to the seafront, snap a quick photo, rush back to the office and then upload it to our Social Media pages.
One evening we had the most amazing orange sunset grace our horizon. So with permission from the boss I headed down there to see this ...
It's moments like these that really make you appreciate living on the coast!
Eagle eyed followers of our pages may have noticed that many of our pictures focus on the same attraction; Worthing Pier.
There's a simple explanation for that, it's recognisable and it looks great!!
Luckily I can also spin the camera around 180 degrees to photograph the fabulous parks, gardens and of course the downs which we're blessed with here in Adur and Worthing.
I'm always trying to learn more about the equipment I'm using too.
Rewind back to the launch of the Donkey Bike scheme (Worthing's answer to London's Boris bikes), I met a Herald photographer who kindly gave me some advice on the best camera settings for certain events.
This information came in useful, especially when I spent some quality time with the Beach Office a few months back (All is explained in my blog: 21st November 2017: A very good day at the 'office').
A few weeks ago I met that same photographer again at another event and my colleague joked about how the quality of my photos had improved after taking on board his free advice. It is true though - every little piece of insight you can get, the better!
Thanks for reading!
Just quickly, It's probably worthwhile saying that the majority of the photos I capture are taken quickly while on other tasks. I'm not just a full-time Council photographer and tea maker unfortunately!
This week I thought I'd write about Adur and Worthing as a whole.
Being born in Worthing, raised in Shoreham and now living in Worthing, it's fair to say that I've spent my lifetime here. Despite this, I still find myself coming across hidden gems every week!
These 'gems' include both people I meet and places I discover.
One of the many perks of working for the Councils' Communications Team is you get to hear stories and meet staff from all of the various town hall departments.
Friday saw myself and a colleague complete the next edition of the renowned Notebook Tour - an internal series of stories for staff, where the Communications Team travel far and wide to visit the various sections of the Council to hear what their typical day to day roles include.
In the latest issue, we visited the car parks team. Unsurprisingly, they were a team full of character and positivity, who also had some very interesting stories to tell.
Every edition of the Notebook Tour is so different, yet they all have one thing in common. Humility. Everybody undervalues how important their role is to the Councils, but the fact of the matter is without them the organisation wouldn't run to the same high standards!
Whilst working for the Councils I have also come to notice the huge amount of development taking place across Adur and Worthing. We are really on the move!
The former Aquarena, restoration of Brooklands Lake and demolition of Teville Gate are without doubt the highlights of these ongoing changes. However, it's important not to forget the smaller projects too - such as the new lifts being installed in Buckingham Road car park, that will drastically improve accessibility; or even the new outdoor gym that has been fitted on the Windsor Lawns, Worthing.
All of these projects are undoubtedly making Adur and Worthing a more desirable place to live and visit!
Local residents may happen to remember Andy Murray's Sports Personality of the Year speech, where he quoted an article saying that he was “duller than than a weekend in Worthing”.
Jokes aside, I believe that we really are two districts on the rise. Housing, tasty grub and great entertainment are all on the horizon for both Adur and Worthing. There is no doubt in my mind that the future is bright!
Photo: Example of development work taking place in Shoreham
Photo: A shot of the Aquarena development taking place on Worthing seafront
Welcome back to what is my first blog of 2018 … (it's going to take a while to get used to writing that rather than 2017!)
I hope you had a brilliant Christmas break that was full of laughter, delicious food and a few little drinks.
Nevertheless, its back to work for many of us now as the dreaded early morning routine kicks back into action.
This week I thought I'd write about one of the key things that forms my role as an apprentice in the Councils' communications team.
This is creating videos, to give the residents and businesses of Adur and Worthing a greater idea of some of the work that the Councils do.
They are traditionally based on:
- Council services
- News stories
Much of what I've learnt has come from my time at Worthing College, where I studied a two year A Level media course. A considerable amount of what I know on the subject was learnt here, as it's fair to say I was no Spielberg from the outset!
My first creation was a short piece where a student had entered his class late, only to be given a detention by his teacher. Yes, it's as pathetic as it sounds! The camera work was poor, it had no continuity and also featured some very dubious acting. But that's what you expect for a opening effort right?
The only work I'm still somewhat proud of is my end of second year production. Out of the choices available, I opted for the music video. By this stage all the codes and conventions of media had been embedded into my brain; to this day I seriously can't watch TV or films without analysing them with mise-en-scene! (mise-en-scene = the arrangement of the scenery, props, etc. on the stage of a theatrical production or on the set of a film. The setting or surroundings of an event).
Getting this apprenticeship has allowed me to refine all the skills gained from college.
The most evident example of this being the speed in which I'm able produce videos. Becoming at one with your software and learning how to utilise it to the best of its abilities is no easy task. In fact, many tricks and tools are available to improve your creations in the editing phase alone!
As it happens, my favourite production is also the most popular. The 'Day in the life of a Dog Warden' video smashed it, getting seven thousand views after being created to inform you about a Council service. This really shouldn't have been a surprise, with everyone understandably being a sucker for a dogs welfare!
'A Day in the life of a Dog Warden' is available to view here:
Another one that stands out is 'Happy children at Happy Hearts'. If you've read my previous blogs, you'll know how much I loved spending time with Tammy Waine, a Families and Wellbeing Officer at the Councils. Seeing the programme receive such great feedback via the video was fantastic.
'Happy children at Happy Hearts' is available to view here:
Last, but certainly not least, is the Christmas message! One of the beauties of video is that anything could happen while the record button is active. Unfortunately for them, the Beach Office staff were having a mare, but it made for some great entertainment!
'Merry Christmas from Adur & Worthing Councils' is available here:
Be sure to follow our Social Media pages to view any future videos I will be creating on all things Adur and Worthing!
Contact Public Relations & Communications
Public Relations & Communications,
Adur & Worthing Councils,
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