Dot Kirk

Driven by a passion for people Dot chose to study languages at the University of Warwick. She lived in Italy, France and Burkina Faso, West Africa where her interest in social justice flourished.

 

In Burkina Dot was part of a team of Burkinabé and English volunteers and staff sharing knowledge and skills to help a local organisation build its capacity. This  allowed disabled and able-bodied women to work together and advocate for equal rights for disabled people locally and nationally. 

 

After building and chairing a new Alumni Board for International Service (the organisation that ran the placement) Dot trained as a community organiser through the Community Organisers Programme in a village -Southwater near Horsham . From rural to urban organising, she then built a community organising programme at Brighton Students’ Union, developed from scratch. Funding was sourced through creating local partnerships on and off each campus.

 

In 2014 Brighton went on to host 4 trainees and train 20 volunteers funded by Community Organisers Volunteer Training Programme. In 2015 Dot financed 5 CO posts to expand the reach of her team's work to all 5 campuses and local areas. Other areas of work have included delivering training to Students' Unions around the country working with Westminster, Sussex and Manchester Students' Unions, organising and delivering large scale training for the CO15 community organisers national meet up as well as coordinating the South East support network. In addition the last year has seen Brighton SU win funding to work with Community Rights projects, registering buildings as assets and campaigning not to loose vital community space.

 

Her hard work has paid off and lead to being a case study for the Cabinet Office, informing the next tender to be released for community organising funding from the government. 

 

Likes growing things, cooking food then eating it all, playing netball to counteract the food and speaks French and Italian fluently, Spanish and German to A-level standard and a smattering of Mooré!