What did you do before coming to ACH?
I am a Portuguese social worker and my professional career has brought me the opportunity to work in different areas and contexts. Ten years ago, I start working as a research assistant and outreach social worker in several projects with vulnerable groups.
During the economic crisis in Portugal, I started researching alternative economic projects. That was when I discovered and fell in love with Alternative and Solidarity Economy. I decided to go to Spain to explore and learn more about the social movements around Ethical Finances, Fair Trade and Responsible Consumption there. I have also worked as a trainer and activist in Human Rights, Global Citizenship and Anti-Poverty projects. Before coming to the UK I was working in a housing project in a neighbourhood in Angola.
Why did you decide to come to ACH?
My first contact with ACH was as a service user. I was preparing my migratory project to the UK and I was looking for someone to help me with my CV and professional orientation in the UK. Someone recommended the ACH Career Advisors. I was fortunate to meet Helena, who was restless in helping me through my first exploratory phase in the UK. I started doing volunteer work at the ACH Job Club and had the opportunity to integrate into the Himilo training team.
What project are you working on for us?
My role is Training Administrator of the Himilo team, the ACH Training Department, in Bristol. We work with learners and employers to create and deliver life-changing opportunities, remove barriers and supply outstanding teaching, learning and assessment activities. I am supporting the training team with administrative tasks, learner and tutor support and am developing monitoring and evaluation tools for different projects.
What is it that you want to achieve?
I believe that adults’ education is crucial to social integration and, putting it plainly, giving people a second chance. I want to contribute to the development of ACH as a holistic social service provider.
What are you hoping to gain from ACH?
I want to develop technical skills and a deeper knowledge of the sector. I want to grow as a professional by integrating a great team and collaborating towards social inclusion combining traditional with innovative methodologies.
What is the proudest moment in your career?
I led the organization of the first Ethical and Solidarity Finances Forum in Portugal in 2015. It was a major international community-based event that mobilized dozens of civil society organizations and hundreds of people to think about ethical finances as a tool for sustainable development.