My experience of working for charities involved in upholding welfare and disability rights

Alumni spotlight | Jodie Champaneria, BA (Hons) International Relations & Global Development, Class of 2017


Jodie Champageria headshot

Jodie Champaneria  - Client Support Advisor at Equality Together and Universal Advocate at Advonet. 

Tell us about your current role and what it involves

At the moment, I have two roles for two different charities. Two days a week I am a Client Support Advisor. My role involves being the first point of contact for the organisation, which supports disabled people and their carers. They offer various services such as welfare rights advice, peer support and advice. I speak to people and try to identify what support they need, whilst also being able to offer some general advice regarding disability rights.

My other role is as an independent mental capacity advocate. I support people who may lack mental capacity to ensure their rights are upheld. Often the people I meet do not have friends or family who can support them, so my role is to ensure their wishes are heard and considered in any decisions which impact their life, such as where they will live.

What organisations do you work for?

I work for Equality Together in Bradford and Advonet in Leeds

How did you find these jobs? 

I found the role at Equality Together through a friend making me aware of the vacancy and then applying with my CV. I had a different role at first but then 5 months later, this position became available.

I found the Advonet role through checking their website regularly. I was aware of the charity during university and had wanted to work there for a while, so I took the opportunity to apply!

What do you enjoy most about your jobs?

I enjoy listening and connecting with people and the process of supporting them to hopefully get an outcome which makes them happy and may lead them to feel more empowered. Both roles have a focus on advocacy and although they can be both quite emotionally demanding at times, knowing that people feel heard and valued is the best part.

 What skills that you learnt at university have you been able to apply in your roles? 

I studied International Relations and global development (2014-17) I was lucky to have deeply passionate lecturers who made, at times complex theories and ideas, come to life. Being able to adapt how to explain something complex is something I do in both roles, with the intention of ensuring people can make decisions about their lives and what matters to them.

The course reaffirmed my interest in topics like human rights and employers are always curious about what we learnt.

I also feel like the written assessments I did have given me the confidence to write at work in both jobs. I have to author reports for the Advonet role which must be accurate and concise.

I learnt so much at uni, as well as a lot of life skills, and these roles, for me, felt like a natural progression and I have really enjoyed the journey to be doing what I do now.

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