We’re excited to welcome a fresh face to the InterAction Team – say hello to Celia Bouch. She’ll be joining fellow coordinators Lizzie Walsh and Lesley Dunn working with Project Manager Kate Townsend to deliver the twice weekly multi-agency Drop-in service, offering advice, support and human connection to refugees, people seeking asylum and other migrants in our community.

We caught up with Celia to find out more…

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne and studied Music and Hispanic Studies at The University of Sheffield – I play the harp and can speak both Spanish and Portuguese. My main final year written submission was on the role and cultural impact of classical music and ballet in post-Revolution Cuba. I also completed a final recital in performance (albeit online as I graduated in the summer of 2020!). As part of my degree, I spent a year studying the harp at the Royal Conservatory of Madrid (RCSMM). I also spent some time working in the town of Itacaré (Brazil) for the NGO Etiv do Brasil which focuses on female empowerment and education. Throughout my degree I volunteered at the RNCM Young Harps Scheme in Manchester, which provided a monthly free workshop introducing children to the harp. In my spare time I enjoy running, walking, painting and jigsaws. I have done the GNR three times and am looking forward to both the Sheffield Half Marathon and GNR in 2021 (fingers crossed they go ahead).

What’s your career background?

I have done a lot of volunteering in TA and tutoring work. I volunteered for two months in an English Centre in Argentina. More recently, I have been an online tutor in response to COVID-19 for three different organisations. Throughout university I was a Concerts Assistant for the TUOS Concerts. In September 2020 I took on the role of Admin Cover for the childcare company CocoRio. This is a company which offers childcare with additional language or arts tutoring. I am currently working part-time as Admin Cover on the days I am not working for AF.

What’s your new role?

I am the new Drop-in Coordinator for InterAction. I am looking forward to gaining experience in casework and learning about the asylum seeker process. Looking towards the future, I would like to think up new ideas for social or English activities within the Drop-in. This is currently something that has been massively restricted due to COVID-19.

What drew you to apply for a job at Action Foundation?

I really like the idea of the Drop-in providing a ‘one space fits all’. I think it is exciting to be part of a Drop-in that works with multiple other agencies and organisations. As I have a background in language studies and education, I was attracted to the idea of being part of a project that provides a welcoming space where you can build up confidence in English. I am always looking to learn, so I was attracted to this role for its varied responsibilities and inspiring mission.

Click here to find out more about InterAction Drop-in