My Story So Far: Lucy Allen moved from TV work to youth charities

The head of communications at the youth charity Ambition says her job allows her to put her skills to good use in a sector she cares about

Lucy Allen
Lucy Allen

I didn't set out to have a career in the third sector. I volunteered at my local hospital radio while doing a sociology degree, and this sparked an interest in broadcast media. I decided to go for it when I graduated, even though the competition was tough. I wrote to TV companies, gained an internship with ITV and networked to gain freelance contracts.

I worked as assistant producer on TV programmes including Pop Idol and The Great British Bake Off. I enjoyed travelling and meeting interesting people, but friends of mine wondered how I could live like that.

In 2009 I started to volunteer at Love to Learn near my home in Battersea, south London, supporting young refugees. I gradually realised that I was interested in youth work and that it was time to rethink my career if I wanted to settle down.

I felt that working in marketing and PR for a youth organisation would enable me to put my skills to good use in a sector I cared about. I was thrilled to get a job at the charity UK Youth in 2011; over three years I climbed the ranks from project worker to membership officer. My role required me to work with the national youth organisation Ambition on a number of joint activities; when its comms manager left, I was approached to take over the role in August this year.

It was a big promotion for me - I feel that all my hard work has paid off and that I'm in a fantastic position to make a difference to a new generation of young people.

Lucy Allen is head of communications at the youth charity Ambition

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