Meet Holly James

We thought it would be great to introduce you to the faces behind The Renewal Trust so you can find out more about our amazing team! First up is Holly James, who has not one, but two roles, here at the Trust.

What’s your role and what does it involve?

I’m lucky enough to have two roles at The Renewal Trust. I’m the Support Officer for our Future Leaders of Nottingham programme and the Assistant Producer for Place, our arts and culture programme based at Sneinton Market.

Future Leaders is a positive action programme for people with leadership potential. My role includes recruiting participants, from the public, private and voluntary sectors across the city, and then making sure everyone is happy and that the programme runs smoothly.

At Place, I help to run our arts and culture programme for the area, which includes a range of creative projects and events and artistic commissions. This involves building relationships with local people and being very organised.

What do you do day-to-day? What does a typical day look like?

At the moment, applications are open for our next Future Leaders of Nottingham programme, which will run from September 2018 to April 2019. This means my main priority is to get the word out to as many people and organisations as possible, working alongside our Media and Communications Officer, Sarah Roach. Once the programme starts, I’ll be attending masterclasses and looking after the participants and the organisations they work for.

At Place, there’s no such thing as a typical day! At any one time we’re usually juggling several projects. In the last couple of months, since we opened in January, we’ve worked with dragons, caravans, elephants and windmills, published a book, commissioned a neon sign and held a public vote.

How long have your worked here?

I’ve been working at The Renewal Trust on and off since 2015, when I was offered the chance to volunteer on a project with Birmingham Royal Ballet, after sending a letter on spec. I must’ve done something right, because the Trust invited me back and here I am!

Do you live locally?

I live in NG3 and walk to work, so I’m pretty local. I’ve only lived in Nottingham for four years though, so I’ve had to learn about the neighbourhood quickly.

Why did you want to work for The Renewal Trust?

I like that the Trust is a local charity with a lot of clout. It’s ambitious and runs all kinds of varied projects. I’d also heard nice things about the people working here.

What do you like best about your job?

My favourite thing about my job is that I’m given a lot of freedom, and that I’m trusted and supported by my managers. My ideas are respected and I feel valued.

Why is The Renewal Trust needed and what difference does it make to the local area?

We’re making an impact in lots of different ways. The Future Leaders programme addresses under-representation in the city’s workforce and leadership, by helping to develop and discover the talented leaders of the future – from all communities. This will help to make leadership in Nottingham more innovative, as well as more diverse and representative, while opening up opportunities for under-represented groups.

The Creative Programme at Place is bringing bespoke art and culture projects and events to local people, in the places where they live. We work with internationally-renowned artists and partners to make sure the programme is of the very highest quality, because as my manager says, “excellence is about showing the value you place on people.”

What do you like about the local area? Is there anything you’d recommend?

I’ve moved house 19 times and I can honestly say that Nottingham is the best place I’ve lived. It has such a lot going on, but you can walk practically anywhere in the city within half an hour, so things are easy to reach. I’m learning new things and meeting new people all the time and there’s still so much I haven’t seen – like the caves, Colwick Park and St Ann’s Allotments!