Hi I’m Rayana,
I am an Assistant Grants Advisor at Corra. Some of you may have already met me, but I’m hoping this blog will give you a little more information about me. Like most people, I always find it hard to write about myself, but I’ll try my best.
Last year I completed a master’s degree in Global Health where my idea of health, which was previously very scientific and clinical, shifted into a more applied and social understanding. While studying, my motivations never changed despite my courses and the content changing.
I have always wanted to help and in some way better the lives of others, and that is still my goal.
During this time at university, I also began volunteering with a national charity, Fast Forward, with the aim of joining their Board of Trustees, through the Charity on Board Initiative. While volunteering, I gained insight into how a charity is governed and how it operates. I took part in board meetings, shadow board meetings and other activities to get as full a picture of how the charity is run. My interest was in grantmaking; to learn more about the process of where funds come from and how they are distributed. I wanted to understand the whole picture of how the Third Sector works, and to be a part of change for the better.
The 2027 Programme
This was my motivation to apply for the 2027 Programme, which is looking to change the sector in a way that makes it inclusive. It aims to and has begun to introduce individuals with lived experiences from working class backgrounds into the world of grant making to provide new experiences, opinions, and perspectives. The Programme was previously only run in England; however, they have now expanded into Scotland. This makes my fellow associates and I the first Scottish cohort which is very exciting!
Within my role at Corra as well as being a part of the 2027 Programme, and a soon to be board member of Fast Forward, I am eager to learn more skills and gain different experiences to the ones I have already. I look forward to learning, questioning, and applying what I learn in a way that can create positive change. Being a part of the amazing projects that are created and carried out each day within different spaces and communities, all with a core motivation of making the places we live in better places for all, is what motivates me.
Currently within my role at Corra I have had the chance to be a part of a lot of different things – the International Learning Process Pilot, the Henry Duncan Project Grants panel, the Henry Duncan Microgrants, a part of the Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention Fund, and Adult, Learning and Empowering Communities Fund conference planning team. I have recently become a member of the PEACH team too. The work I have been involved in has all been quite different, but all have had aims of finding new ways to create change, ways to ‘Shift the Power’ and how Corra can assist organisations and communities in doing so, which very much aligns with the aims of the 2027 Programme.
I am also looking forward to hearing from other people within Corra, as well as those who have gone through the 2027 Programme. Hearing their experiences, what they have learnt, their favourite and toughest moments, is something I feel I can learn a lot from.
I have developed a real interest in health and how we can, individually and collectively, better our own wellbeing and that of those around us. With my interest, I found my love for podcasts, and now I am an avid listener to all types of conversations. I enjoy keeping fit, travelling, reading a great book, as well as watching a film or series. Coffee is a big part of what keeps me going, it comes with me in all I do. If you haven’t already, then I’m sure you’ll see me with a hot cup of coffee in future meetings.