Story of how a Czech girl ended up in Wales to help people quit smoking through graphic design.
My name is Anna and I come from the Czech Republic. I have been a volunteer at Ash Wales since the beginning of September. Before this, I studied Interactive graphics for three years in Prague and then Graphic design (Top-Up) for one year in Southampton Solent University. After finishing my studies, I was looking for an opportunity to excersise my design skills in a real company. That is what I am able to do now thanks to taking part in the European Volunteering Service.
As a volunteer at Ash Wales, I am mostly doing graphics and animations for The Filter’s social media and Smokefree Me. I have a lot of creative freedom which is what I like the most about my work. There are always projects that I can help with. For example I worked on a video about how much you can buy instead of cigarettes if you quit smoking for a year. I also did graphics for motivational stories about quitting or the damage that smoking can cause to your eyes. I also helped by doing infographics for the annual report so my work has also been printed.
The Ash Wales team also took me with them to work at the Freshers Fayre of the Cardiff Met University. My task was to present The Filter project to young people and get them to try our CO monitors. We were very busy and it surprised me how many young people are interested in quitting smoking. I also helped out at The Filter international event in Welsh centre called Urdd. I am hoping I will have a chance to join the youth team in their future activities.
Besides being a volunteer at Ash Wales, I am doing many other things with the five other volunteers I share a house with. They also work in different organisations in Cardiff. Together, we are trying to use our time here as best as we can. So far we have visited the Brecon Beacons national park, the Sant Fagans National Museum of History or Caerphilly Castle. There are still many places that we are planning to visit in Wales and the rest of the UK.
Although we come from different countries, we can always find things that we have in common and teach each other about our culture. Two of my housemates are also organising a Language Tandem every other week. It is a great opportunity to meet new people from different countries.
So far I am very happy with my stay in Ash Wales. I am looking forward to new projects and adventures.