The internship with CSAN is two-fold, involving work with both the Policy and Advocacy Team, and the Communications Team. The variety of tasks and skills which are developed are wide-ranging and valuable. Within Communications, the internship involves daily monitoring of press and media, regular updating of the website, writing press releases, articles, and blogs, alongside helping organise events such as a Parliamentary Reception.
On the Policy and Advocacy side, interns work closely with the Public Affairs Officer on a variety of tasks in order to influence public policy to protect the poor and vulnerable. Key responsibilities involve; researching policy topics, producing briefings for Parliament, lobbying MPs and Peers, formulating consultation responses and developing amendments.
“ I really feel like I am part of a bridge between the faith-based organisations on the ground, and the MPs and Peers who debate and decide these policies. ”
I am working for CSAN, Caritas Social Action Network – the social action arm of the Catholic Church in this country. As the communications and policy assistant, I do the standard tasks like social media & website traffic analytics, printed media monitoring, policy research and briefing documents and parliamentary monitoring.
In practice, this is following both the events in the Commons and the opinions of the Catholic community, trying to work out how out member charities can best be served by our government and how their insight into life in this country can effect change and influence decision-making in parliament.
I really feel like I am part of a bridge between the faith-based organisations on the ground, bearing witness to the government’s policies, and the MPs and Peers who debate and decide these policies.
The work is diverse: every week involves meetings with other representatives of the charities, meetings with MPs and also visits to the charities on the ground. In addition, I have had the opportunity to write an article for the Catholic Times, help organise CSAN’s annual parliamentary reception in the House of Lords and show our French equivalent, Secours Catholique, around some of our charities on their visit to London, having used my degree in French and German to translate a report they wrote on the migrant crisis at Calais. I really feel like all my skills are being utilised !
In the future I would like to pursue a career in policy, hopefully in a European context.