2012 Grad - Iffat

Iffat graduated from Birmingham in 2012   -  By Eleanor Lloyd

Another great thing about Envision was being able to build up a wide network of contacts with so many different people. These contacts really came in useful to help me gain work experience.

Envision Project

Iffat and her team were concerned at how many girls were suffering from body image issues. Their project, "LOL" (love our lives), aimed to tackle issues around body image and self esteem and to encourage body confidence. 

Iffat continued with Envision after school as part of an Envision Alumni project. Together with a group of other Envision graduates she ran a project called 'Break The Chain: Birmingham Against Modern Day Slavery'. They organised an event at the Mac Arts Centre in Birmingham and included a film festival and live debate on human trafficking.  

It really opened my eyes to the issue of human trafficking. I was one of those people who was a bit sceptical at first and I didn't really think human trafficking occurred in the UK. I learned so much about it and was able to shatter so many of the myths about human trafficking.

Envision memory

A couple of days before the "Break the Chain" event, we had a rehearsal for the event, and that's when it really hit me - we were really doing it, the event had been sold out, it was a really great moment, we felt we were doing something exciting and relevant and practical. Following that, on the day of the event, seeing the theatre full and seeing how many questions we were getting during the debate.  It really felt like people were interested, people were listening and engaged, and our voice mattered. Even though we were just 18/19 year olds, we were talking about huge issues and people were interested in what we were saying and they cared and wanted to make a difference. Another great moment - for the event we devised a really strong visual image - because it was called "Break the Chain" we decided to make paper chains and we laid them across the seats at the event and asked everyone to put their hands in the chains for the duration of the event. Then at the end we asked everyone to stand up and physically break the chains by moving their hands apart. That was a really powerful visual representation of what we wanted to achieve.

Doing now

Final year studying Law at University. About to move to London to do the Law Practice Course following work experience gained through Envision.

What did you get out of Envision? 

Earlier this year I was on a vocational training scheme and in my assessment they said my communication and team work skills were spot on and I definitely think this is in a large part due to working on those projects with Envision.   For the Break the Chain project I took on a leadership role and I think that role really helped. I was working with 20 different people that I'd never met before and they were all from across the city so it was difficult for us to meet up. Tim and Ed, our Envision mentors, were so supportive but also really encouraged us to work things out for ourselves. An idea that I came up with on that project to help communication was an online notebook, so each sub group could update everyone by posting updates that everyone could access. There was also some conflict and people management issues during that project that I was able to help to resolve. 

Another great thing about Envision was being able to build up a wide network of contacts with so many different people. These contacts really came in useful to help me gain work experience.