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 ...
There's no covering up that it's been a while since a Dan the Apprentice masterpiece has appeared at the top of my blogger profile page. But I'm happy to say that proceeding should be back to normal ... at least for a couple of weeks anyway!
Unfortunately, the reason for myself missing these blogs isn't because I was on some exotic holiday on the other side of the planet. Nope, things have just been incredibly busy here in the Communications Team.
The last few weeks have seen myself helping out with the elections team, visiting our many development sites that are undertaking huge transformations, helping run the Councils' website, attempting to keep up with a mountain of Apprenticeship studies, and meeting Worthing royalty in MasterChef Champion Kenny Tutt.
With my excuses out of the way, let's crack on with this week's blog!
On Friday I attended Worthing Borough Council's Mayor making event which saw Cllr Paul Baker be officially elected as the Mayor of Worthing for 2018/19.
Photo: Cllr Paul Baker, Mayor of Worthing, in the Mayor's Parlour
Because I only begun my apprenticeship with the Councils in August of last year, this was my first experience of the Mayor making event.
The whole event was interesting to say the least, and it's yet another event I can say I've experienced within my 18 month apprenticeship with the councils.
Perks of appearing as a photographer at any event means that generally you gain access to all areas, so I'd like to think that I got a pretty good understanding of what went down at the ceremony.
For those unfamiliar with the Mayor making process, I'll give you a brief description of what happens ...
The existing Mayor, in this case Cllr Alex Harman, enters the Council Chamber which is full to the brim with councillors along with his Chaplain, one of the Councils' Directors, and the Mayor to be Cllr Paul Baker.
Photo: Cllr Paul Baker (incoming Mayor), Martin Randall (one of the Councils' directors, holding the mace), Cllr Alex Harman (outgoing Mayor) and The Mayor's Chaplain
The outgoing Mayor then says his thank yous and sends his best regards to Worthing's new civic figurehead.
Once Cllr Harman has finished his speech, the group of four then disappear off into the Mayor's Parlour, where the departing individual will hand over his historic robes to their successor.
Photo: Cllr Alex Harman handing the Mayoral Robes over to Cllr Paul Baker
With their clothing correctly adjusted, the foursome head back to the Chamber and Cllr Paul Baker announces himself as the new Mayor of Worthing.
Chains are then presented to the Mayoress, Deputy Mayor, Deputy Mayoress, Youth Mayor and Deputy Youth Mayor; before all of the VIP's head off to celebrate the introduction of Cllr Paul Baker as the new Mayor of Worthing!
Explanations aren't my forte, so for all I know that could have left you more confused than when you started reading this blog ...
In many ways I'm sad to see Cllr Alex Harman go. As not only was I lucky enough to meet him on my first day here, but he also brought youth to the role which it's probably fair to say hadn't been there before.
I have joined Alex a few of his 300 plus events during my time at the councils ... and I was complaining that my schedule was mad!
From historic occasions such as the Montague Moore memorial to a fundraising day for Children in Need (with Alex dressed as Batman), Alex has always been available to make the Mayoralty more accessible to the people of Worthing.
Photo: Donald Trump, Peter Parker, Batman (Cllr Alex Harman) and a suffragette in a lift
There was no better way for us in Comms to celebrate Cllr Harman's term then to end it the way it started ... In a pub.
Approximately one year ago the Comms team filmed a Q&A style video with Alex so the people of Worthing could get to know that little bit more about their Mayor.
Therefore, it only seemed right to return to The Egremont Pub so Alex could review his terrific year as Mayor of Worthing. Hear his thoughts below:
Phew… Last week was a pretty hectic one!
For those of you who've been living under a rock, last week the Councils launched ‘Where the Wild Flowers Grow’ - a fun and interactive flower sowing project for all the community to splash colour across Adur and Worthing.
Apparently, our district and our borough have a great reputation for its flower sowing events. Who knew?
This year’s event will be that bit more special though, as we’ll be scattering poppy seeds around our parks and open spaces to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.
You may be questioning: Well, Dan. What’s so “hectic” about this?
Well… Due to uncertainty around the Great British weather, the plans for 2018’s unique flower sowing event reached us here in the Communications department just one week before the proposed start date.
Though this may not be ideal, we had no problem turning around a media package for the following week. The ‘package’ utilized skills from every member of the team, therefore featuring:
- Journalistic writing
- Website management
- Social media knowhow
- Polished graphic design
- Truly sensational pictures and video...
Naturally, it was my job to complete the final point on the list; so I booked a morning with Dan Ross, the Councils' Parks and Open Spaces Manager, and we set about creating a series of informal videos to promote the event.
Gusty winds and overcast skies didn’t make for the best conditions when you're trying to promote a summer themed event, but we made do.
Back in the sheltered office, I broke the footage down into three smaller videos, the third of which just went live this morning.
Watch the third ‘Where the Wild Flowers Grow’ video here:
‘Where the Wild Flowers Grow’ is a project for all the community...
Not only are flowers scientifically proven to send out positive vibes to surrounding communities, but the process of creating wildflower beds is incredibly cheap!
With the camera I will be visiting a majority of the sites to get some before and after shots to show just how much of a difference a burst of colour can make to our coastal towns.
Be sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter pages to stay updated with the progress.
- ‘Where the Wild Flowers Grow’ press release
- For an interactive map of the sites under the Where The Wild Flowers Grow programme go to link here Map.
Working in the Communications team I'm always searching for stories.
From creating an informal video on a new piece of development, to visiting a member of Council staff who has achieved something special in their role.
The only factor of the story that remains the same is that I'm never in it (which to be honest is the way I like it).
Because of this, explaining what I do can often be tricky.
I'm currently describing myself as the pictures and video guy who also does some writing on the side ... (AKA the Social Media Apprentice).
In an attempt to clear things up I'm making today's blog 'a day in the life' episode, where you'll hopefully get a better idea for what it is I do.
To start the week, I'll offer everyone in the team a cup of their warm beverage of choice - this being my attempt of wearing off those Monday morning blues.
With the refreshments settled, I'll take a seat and begin working my way through the daily routine.
First on the list is something most of you probably dread doing. Yes I'm talking about emails!
Many of your probably log on to a mountain of emails, but I'm glad to say that I have no such problem; one of many perks of being nearer the bottom of an organisation's hierarchy!
Next on the list is to start monitoring the day's papers.
The purpose of this being to search for stories that may feature the Council, whether this be a positive mention or a challenging view that I need to alert the team on.
Occasionally the local press will actually present my photos alongside a story which can make for a nice surprise in the morning.
The following stage of my daily routine is to review our social media activity.
I'll have a brief look over our Facebook and Twitter pages, questioning what has been successful and why. This is all part of our drive to increase our engagement with residents.
It's fair to say that social media can be addictive at times! As a content creator you're always wanting to see what kind of figures your posts can achieve, meaning I'm guilty to hitting that refresh button every now and then...
Early morning tasks over, I'm now ready for whatever the day presents.
Often the team will ask me to head out with the camera to explore a photo opportunity and today was no exception.
Eco Open Houses were promoting their campaign outside St Paul's in Worthing, with their being reports a human sized bee. That's worth checking out right?
Intrigued, I walked across the road and met the humongous insect. It really was something to beehold!
Thankfully the bee seemed to speak fluent human, making the planned picture of it with Worthing Mayor, Cllr Alex Harman, a whole lot easier.
Not long after this another photo opportunity presented itself.
The subject in hand was the Worthing wheel, which was being deconstructed after a successful few weeks for the temporary attraction.
I certainly noticed an increase in the number of people utilising Steyne Gardens while the wheel was here, so it will be interesting to see if we get something similar occupy the space soon.
Photo: The Big Wheel in Steyne Gardens coming down
With a mix of pictures and video sourced I headed back to the Town Hall and set about sharing the content across our social media platforms.
The first stint had flown by! It was time to get the kettle on, refuel and debate about the weekend's footy.
After lunch I thought I'd head down to Teville, as demolition works were scheduled to begin today (Monday) - And ohhh boy they didn't disappoint ...
What can only be described as a massive excavator was on site poking away at the top floor of the southern end of the car park.
Keen to get a better shot, I knocked on the gates and asked if I could enter the site. Luckily, Tony Fox, Site Manager from Hughes & Salvidge, recognised me from the media day and invited me in.
Safety gear equipped, the contractors positioned me in a safe zone where I could get some fantastic pictures and video of the action taking place on site.
Photo: Demolition underway at the Teville Gate car park
Right, I'm pretty much up to date now! A majority of the remaining time in the day was spent writing this masterpiece ...
Sure, I add in every little detail from the day but this blog is long enough already.
Thanks for reading!
This week I'm handing the blog over to Beth and Rachel, two aspiring journalists from Worthing College, who will be writing about their work experience with the Councils' Communications Team.
Hey all! Our names are Beth and Rachel and we are students at Worthing College. For four days we have been given the opportunity to do work experience with the Adur and Worthing Council’s Communication Team. We have gained insight into their hard work, from blog posts to photo ops; our experience has been incredibly thought provoking. During our short time here we have learnt a great deal, and we’d like to share it with you.
Beth reporting for service! I am very grateful for this opportunity. Working with the council has not only quashed any fears I had about the environment of a workplace, but has also taught me the importance of new perspectives and communication.
I for one can admit that I am usually the first for communication, from catching up with old friends to the constant messages I send on my phone. However, I was always curious as to how communication could be used in a professional environment, whilst also retaining the personal voice of a writer.
From my experiences, I have learnt that the council is dedicated to freedom of expression- especially through the personal blogs. I think they show unique writing that makes you feel as though you really know the person behind the screen- it’s amazing, and definitely inspiration for my next project!
I’ll let you in on another secret; I have not always kept up with the council’s developments before. Probably not shocking, but as part of Worthing’s younger generation, I didn’t think it was my place to keep up with the council’s every move.
However, this experience has definitely opened my eyes to genuine care the council has for Adur and Worthing’s young people; from collaborations with Worthing College on mental health to a new digital hub planned for future generations, the council is doing more than most of us will recognise. Even something as simple as following the council’s twitter will keep you more updated than you could imagine.
As I go back to college in the following weeks, I will not forget the unique and wonderful personalities of the communications department and how open minded they are. To anyone who is thinking about journalism, or is even just curious, I would absolutely recommend this experience in the future.
Rachel’s taking over now! All my life, I have been drawn to writing. However, my ‘dream job’ has always changed like the moon (yet it always centred on writing). It was only when I started studying Media Studies that the idea was finally cemented: I want to be a journalist. I am so grateful to have the experience to have first-hand knowledge of the world of communication.
As a young person, I’ll sheepishly confess that I didn’t know much about the council. But now, I am much better informed. For example, I wasn’t even sure that the council had a website and now I’m aware of their website, Facebook and Twitter pages. My use of social media is very casual; commenting on my friends’ birthdays and occasionally posting when I have a fun outing with my friends. But the council take their social media presence very seriously by putting in a lot of thought and care into every post, tweet and photograph.
The most valuable thing I’ve gained from this experience is the confidence to pursue journalism. Developing the skills necessary for journalism such as conducting interviews and writing press releases, and being in that environment, has given me the clarity I needed.
I encourage all young people to find out more about your local council. I also encourage you to take chances. Was I nervous on my first day? Of course! But it was worth it. You need to throw yourself out there and take risks. For example, I’ll be keeping an eye out for more fantastic work placement opportunities and attending as many university open days as I can. Have fun with it, because now is your chance to experiment.
Photos: Our favourite pictures from the work experience, taken at Beach House Park, Worthing.
It's a fact known worldwide that us Brits love nothing more than a moan about the weather!
Actually, scrap that. Our love for tea is undoubtedly the thing that us British are associated with the most. You're probably in the process of making one while reading this blog actually.
Regardless, this run of cold and wet conditions has to end soon surely?
Anyway, although I could easily make today's blog solely about our pants weather of late, I've got something far more interesting to tell you about!
A highlight from last week was when I followed a group of council staff who spent their Thursday giving back to the community.
As a member of council staff we are asked to volunteer for three days of the year. Being assigned to a varied range of tasks that could include supporting our parks team in a spring clean to helping maintain the cleanliness of Adur and Worthing's spotless seafronts.
Thursday's group of volunteers consisted of multiple Heads of Service. They were first tasked with renovating a summer shed that belonged to the elderly residents living at Guild Care's Dolphin Court centre.
The charity's shed required a fresh lick of paint both inside and out. This work would then give their tenants the chance to fully utilise the facilities available in the coming summer.
I arrived to see the team cracking on with the job in hand, and on coat as it turned out ...
Andy Edwards, Head of Environmental Services, is an exceptionally tall gent meaning he was assigned as ‘roof painter' for the project. Unfortunately, this meant the thin paint would occasionally drop down onto Andy's coat!
While down there I grabbed some quotes with the lovely Guild Care staff and our very own Jacqui Cooke, Interim Head of Wellbeing, who was team leader for the day.
Story gathered, I set about heading back to the Communications office in the Town Hall.
Clearly the mess didn't slow the teams progress, as before I knew it they had moved onto their next task.
Photo: Team of Adur & Worthing Councils staff renovating a summer shed at Guild Care's Dolphin Court centre
In order of group picture (Left to Right):
- Jacqui Cooke, Interim Head of Wellbeing
- Dr Sophia Huber, Housing Business Support Assistant
- Cally Antill, Head of Housing
- Andy Edwards, Head of Environmental Services
- Denise Harmer, PA to Director for Communities
Later in the day I met up with the team once again, this time at a site located on Lyndhurst Road.
Our volunteers would be helping contractors refurbish the Worthing Churches Homeless Projects new hostel that will provide housing to those in desperate need.
The change in scenery also brought with it a change in the weather ... on the journey over there I got drenched! Trousers soaked and my barnet destroyed.
Thankfully the weather didn't dampen the spirits of our volunteers though, who appeared to be having a great time helping out on another project for the community.
The building was massive so it's fair to say the team were very pleased to have the extra pairs of hands helping on site.
Overall the group had a fun day, as was explained by team leader Jacqui Cooke, Interim Head of Wellbeing:
“It's important that we give support to our local community. It's also a great opportunity to take some time out of the office, develop our relationship as a team and get active.”
“So Dan, when are you thinking of volunteering?”
Well, I'd be lying if I said I had something planned. In many ways I'm looking forward to it, as it's a great team-building exercise and allows a fidget like myself to keep active during a day's work.
If some nice weather could be arranged for our future volunteers that would be ideal. But let's not get ahead of ourselves here, this is Britain after all!
Development - there's certainly a lot of it across Adur and Worthing!
Whether it's Brooklands, the Adur Tidal Walls project or the long awaited development of Worthing's Teville Gate, there are plenty of stories for us to follow and keep you updated on.
It was only in last week's blog post I wrote about the start of proceedings at Teville Gate, which for decades had been an eyesore for residents and visitors to the town.
Now it's Adur's turn to be in the spotlight.
In case you missed the news, Wednesday saw work officially begin on a new Adur District Council-funded office block in Shoreham.
The council have already arranged a deal with communications company Focus Group, who will relocate from their current base in Southwick.
Like the Teville launch, we organised a press day where councillors, the contractors and local media could attend to acquire a greater understanding of the new £9.5m development.
I arrived at the site to see an excavator stood upon a mountain of mud. Impressive! Maybe they got it up there with a helicopter or something ...
Shortly after, our councillors arrived at the site, some of which I'd never met before including Cllr Neil Parkin, the Leader of Adur District Council!
It's crazy that even after seven months of working for the council I'm still seeing new faces on a weekly basis.
Safety gear on we headed out onto the site where an excavator was used as a prop for the following photo shoot.
Contractors Willmott Dixon had brought a pro photographer with them which is always interesting for an amateur like myself.
Sure, there are some small tips/tricks which can make a difference to the quality of your image; but the main difference is their confidence to direct people to help achieve that coveted perfect shot. It's something I'm trying to get into the habit of doing rather than just adopting the slightly nervous “that'll do” approach.
Just before we wrapped things up I grabbed an interview with Cllr Parkin, and Ralph Gilbert, of Focus Group. These interviews are featured in the video below:
So the next few years for the district appear to be exciting ones!
Brooklands Park continues to be my favourite project of the bunch. Granted, being surrounded by wet and sticky mud isn't ideal, but it's a project for the whole community.
Which development are you looking forward to the most?
Photo: Excavators working on the new Adur District Council-funded office block in Shoreham
Yeah, so ... Worthing's Teville Gate is being demolished.
For decades, the privately-owned multi-storey has been an eyesore for residents and visitors to the town. But fear no more!
Last week saw the demolition of buildings begin, as contractors Hughes & Salvidge begun tearing off the roof of the former Bed King kiosk.
The communications team helped oversee the launch, arranged access for the the local media to gain access the site, get right up close to the action and acquire interviews with the people who made this happen.
The dull and overcast morning didn't dampen anyone's spirits. Beaming smiles were coming from the faces of our councillors who clearly couldn't believe that the day had finally come.
Undoubtedly the best part of any site visit is the health and safety briefing! Agreed?
Thankfully the briefing on this occasion was short and sweet.
The safety gear was pretty rad! Contractors provided safety hats, high vis jackets, goggles and a pair of protective gloves to complete the look.
The group made of councillors, directors and local media were raring to go. But there was just one missing piece of the puzzle. Councillor Diane Guest, Worthing Borough Council's Executive Member for Environment, was nowhere to be seen ...
We dialled Cllr Guest's number but before she could pick up we all became distracted by someone wearing a blinding bundle of pink protective clothing. After a brief pause in conversation we realised it was the missing councillor!
Cllr Guest responded to the laughter by saying if the site visits were going to become a regular occurrence, why not be prepared? To be fair this was a valid point, as I really do need to get myself some sensible footwear for these visits ...
The contractors had prepared an ace photo opportunity for those attending. The end of an excavator was wedged into the roof of the Bed King kiosk, allowing councillors and the Mayor of Worthing the chance to pose in the vehicle.
Photos captured we headed up to the vantage point where we would have an overview of the whole site. Here I grabbed the interviews with Cllr Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council's Executive Member for Regeneration, and Cllr Guest.
Over the morning the weather worsened. The bright natural light we had first thing had disappeared and heavy rainfall was hitting the town.
This made filming quite hard as the camera could only pick up the silhouette of both Kevin and Diane. To resolve this I had to adjust the shadows and contrast in the clip to make them somewhat visible; resulting in the footage looking a tad grainy.
Interviews done and insert shots/clips gathered, I had a chat with the Mayor, Cllr Alex Harman. Interestingly Alex mentioned that 96% of the materials on site would be recycled after the demolition. That's insane!
In one way, and only one, I'm sad to see Teville go. It was the location where my first media production was filmed, a horror films opening sequence was crafted in that very space ... even if it was for all the wrong reasons.
Realistically Teville was an eyesore, and whilst it did provide parking to the town for decades it needed to go.
I can't wait for the final plans to be announced and follow the progress through the sight of a lens.
Watch the Teville video here:
Photo: The excavator began the demolition by tearing off the roof of the former Bed King mattress kiosk
Photo: View across the Teville Gate site
Photo: View of the multi story car park across the Teville Gate site
Photo: Cllr Alex Harman, Mayor of Worthing, sitting in the excavator
Photo: Cllrs Kevin Jenkins, Daniel Humphreys, Diane Guest, Paul Westover, Edward Crouch standing on the excavator
Left to right:
Cllr Kevin Jenkins, Executive Member for Regeneration
Cllr Daniel Humphreys, Leader of Worthing Borough Council
Cllr Diane Guest, Executive Member for Environment
Cllr Paul Westover, Central Ward, Worthing
Cllr Edward Crouch, Executive Member for Digital & Resources
Map: No access via Teville Gate or underpass from 15th January 2018 - Please use the route shown below:
For those who have been living under a rock for the previous week ... Yes, it's true. We had some snow! I say “some” because in Adur and Worthing that's all it really was.
However “some” was enough! Tuesday morning I opened my curtains to a blinding white sheet of snow draped across the garden.
Despite the certainty of the weather forecast, I didn't believe that we'd actually get any snow here. It must have been at least six years since we last had enough to cause panic, yet panic we did!
I had disappointment year after year, just waiting for that one chance to use a sledge that I had been gifted many a Christmas ago. To this day it still hasn't ridden a snowflake.
Baby-faced or not, I'm no longer at school; but it's still nice to see kids enjoying the bitterly cold weather. Little do they know that in a few years it will become more of a nuisance than a fun experience.
Anyway, on with the blog ...
First thing on Tuesday morning I headed out with my snuggly winter gear and the comms camera equipment and set about capturing some rare shots of a snowy Worthing.
The objective was, of course, get some quality shots of Worthing, but to also try and meet some of the Councils' unsung heroes.
One of many teams who remained cool as ice was our Environmental Services team, who were out first thing gritting pavements and town centres to make our journeys as easy and as safe as possible.
The first of many of the council workers that I bumped into was clearing the public footpath in Warwick Street.
On my quick lap around the town centre, I called into the Beach Office to catch up with the happiest team in the Council.
I wandered into their office to see Senior Foreshore Inspector Graham Cherrett in a t-shirt - probably the least surprising thing I'd seen all week to be honest.
It's always interesting to visit the other departments across the Council and hear how real-life events can affect their working day. For the Beach Office not much had changed, although they were constantly monitoring the conditions in case a pier closure was needed.
While down there I grabbed a group picture of the team for our social media pages (which thankfully Graham put a coat on for - he's the one in the middle) and set about heading back to the toasty Town Hall.
As it happened Tuesday was the only occasion where serious action needed to be taken against the snow. Regardless of this our services team did a terrific job across the districts, so here's a big shout out to the lot of them!
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
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