Woody Faulkner, Administrative Assistant, British Institute of Human Rights blogs this Small Charity Week
I have been working as the Administrative Assistant for the British Institute of Human Rights for 11 months and 2 weeks, every day of which has been a journey. Prior to working at BIHR I have worked a variety of different workplaces, some large, some very large, most I did purely to collect a wage, and none I have enjoyed as much as working at BIHR.
We are a small team at BIHR, even by the standards of small charities, but I am constantly amazed by the field of impact and scope of issue that my colleagues are able to respond to. Often at short notice they produce well informed, legally sound but accessibly presented interpretation of the fast paced and complex world of UK human rights law, policy and practice. I have seen how, by providing sober and accurate resources, briefings and response pieces, BIHR have been able to help explain and promote human rights protections and duties to large numbers of people and organisations for whom human rights would have remained something relevant only to other countries. Much of this work would be impossible without the integral role played by our tireless and committed volunteers who donate their time to BIHR, helping us to research breaking cases and generally pitching in with the team to get stuff done.
Our small size is no hindrance to our large impact because of a large and diverse network and community of other small charities around the UK, from one person operations to regional outposts of national groups, tirelessly working to end inequality and injustice, to create a fairer society for all in the UK. I have experienced the breadth of expertise and wealth of passion and drive in this sector through my work organising BIHR’s Human Rights Tour (watch this space for information on the 2014 Human Rights Tour), through BIHR’s annual celebrations for Human Rights Day, and through the great support and engagement from small (and large) organisations signing up to show their commitment to human rights through the Human Rights Charter and the Human Rights Alliance.
Working at BIHR has shown me that being a small organisation, in tough economic times, need not be a roadblock to success if you are rich with commitment to the vision and purpose of your organisation. And that is why I love working at a small charity, and that is why I love working at BIHR.