Angeline Tshiyane is a final year BA (Hons) Public Services student. On completion of a Foundation Year course she is now topping up to the full degree. Angie was born in Zimbabwe but has been living in the UK since 2000.
Prior to starting the course I studied a Foundation Degree in Community Development and Cross Sector Collaboration. This course fuelled my passion for education and volunteering in the community. For one of my assignments I applied for a Wales for Africa grant (now titled Hub Cymru Africa) and set up the Batanai Bambanani Women's Network Wales (now Madzimai Pamwe project) helping women to work together. This was just an enhancement to my voluntary work; which has led me to where I am today. Through this course I also set up and now run the NJUZU Community Swimming Group (NCSG) in Newport. The group was specifically set up for 5-15 year olds within the Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) Community.
I was working as a carer as I undertook the course, but unfortunately was made redundant. This gave me the push I needed to progress to the BA (Hons) Public Services. This course was the perfect option as it would help me to build a career out of the community work I love doing. I knew that the course would be challenging as I would be juggling it with my job, work with NCSG and also Madzimai Pamwe. I am a very determined person and therefore I promised myself I would somehow make it work.
The benefit of studying this degree is that there are a wealth of jobs available in the public sector, where there will always be a need. The degree is wide-encompassing, so you gain the foundations to be able to work across the sector. The knowledge and skills you develop on the course are transferable, broadening your career options. The tutors have been supportive and have given me the encouragement I need. When you know you have people who believe in your capabilities you become driven to succeed in the work you do.
I have recently gained employment with SEWREC as an Assistant BME Sports Cymru Project Officer. I hope to be able to undertake my work experience for the placement module there. I would also like to tailor my dissertation to this role as it will be beneficial to the work I will be doing. Since commencing the degree I have gained the confidence to go for these opportunities - something I would have felt uncomfortable doing previously. In addition, the degree will help me to be more effective in my role.
For any student thinking of studying this course I would definitely recommend doing voluntary work. The work I have undertaken has certainly helped me gain the skills I needed to gain employment in an area I am passionate about. Through my voluntary work I have won the award for Community Coach of the Year at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year 2015 awards, nominated for the Unsung Hero award at the Black Ethnic and Diversity Sport awards by Sporting Equals in 2016 and won a Sports and Culture award at the Ethnic Minority Welsh Women’s awards 2017. I was also recently awarded the 82nd Points of Light award by the Prime Minister, Theresa May. These achievements are something that I can refer to when securing support for future projects.
Due to my faith, it’s been important for me that I give back to the community. I love the volunteering work I do and it is very much close to my heart, but I feel that by working in a public sector role within the community, the outreach will be wider and I will also be in a position to make a bigger difference to more people’s lives. What I have learnt from my experiences is that by believing in yourself and working hard, anything is achievable. The network I have built up through my personal journey has made many of my ventures possible; so I am grateful to those who have helped me along the way.