We’re excited to have Julia Bandel join the team as our new Volunteer & Engagement Assistant. Find out a bit more about Julia below:

Tell us a bit about you – what’s your background?

Hello, my name is Julia and I am excited to be starting as the new Volunteer and Engagement Assistant at Housing Options Scotland! Originally from Germany, I moved to Scotland in 2016 to study Geography and Economic and Social History at the University of Edinburgh. Fast forward four years, and I’ve decided I love this country and its people so much I want to stay! My interest in housing and disability was first sparked by my degree, and I gained experience of communications and coordinating volunteers in a number of voluntary and paid roles while I was a student, so this position at Housing Options Scotland was pretty much my ideal job!

What’s your role at Housing Options Scotland – can you tell us a bit about the sorts of projects you’ll be working on?

As Volunteer and Engagement Assistant, I work with the Volunteer and Engagement Manager to enhance the amazing work our Housing Brokers do by shouting about it on social media and supporting them through our volunteer programme. We’re looking to review HOS’ communications strategy in the next six months which I am very excited about, and I will be working a lot with the online research volunteers on developing the Area Guide project.

What 3 things are you most excited about now you’ve started at HOS?

First of all, I’m looking forward to meeting and getting to know all of my new colleagues and the volunteers I’ll be working with! I’m also really excited to start developing our communications strategy – it’s a huge project, but I can’t wait to get stuck in. More generally, I love how variable my job is. It’s amazing that I can work closely with volunteers on expanding the Area Guides project while also being able to apply my creativity to the guide’s design, for example.

Outside of work, what sorts of things do you get up to?

I started a part-time postgraduate degree in Public Policy a few weeks ago and enjoy volunteering, reading, accumulating house plants, and (in happier times) going to the theatre in the spare time that is left. A grandma at heart, I’m currently looking to get more involved in my local community garden and am trying to teach myself embroidery. I also enjoy exploring Edinburgh and its surroundings and have discovered many lovely places wandering or cycling off into the unknown.