#4TDays: Inspiring the Youth – Abi Stafford

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013|Guest posts|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

As promised, we’re back to share with you new Elexu’s features, fresh posts by our guest bloggers, and our latest discoveries in terms of young talents!

Let’s start with a new inspirational post written by Abigail Stafford, one of our loyal guest bloggers. Abi has collaborated with Elexu since last year, when she published her first post on Elexu’s blog, #Invisible Disabilities Day. There she shared her personal experience with one of those she defines “invisible disabilities”, and her reaction to raise awareness about it.
Continue reading to discover how Abi’s project is going on, and to know more about her new adventure at Channel 4′s 4Talent.


 

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Photograph taken at a 4Talent Day event.

Finding an internship, apprenticeship and a job is near impossible for today’s youth even with a wealth of qualifications bulking up their CV. Positions are very limited but even those that are offering work often require previous work experience, so how can we make our first break into work?

Well I’ve been traveling across the UK with Channel 4’s 4Talent offering opportunities to young people that want to get their foot in the door of the media industry by hosting workshops and classes with media industry professionals. We’re aware that many of the media orientated positions are often in and around the big cities like London and Manchester and we wanted to reach out to those in smaller areas across the UK. As part of our 4Talent Days Road show we’ve visited places such as Barnsley, Penzance, Dundee and Wigan to show how young people there can take advantage of the opportunities that are right under their nose – by using social media.

My role at the events is to promote the days on the 4talent social network platforms by tweeting using the @4talentdays account alongside the hashtag #4tdays and taking photographs for the Facebook page. I work as part of 4Crew which was a Channel 4 initiative of creating a young film crew. They offer us mentoring and helped us to get our foot in the door of the media industry by giving us first-hand experience.

Since attending my first 4Talent Day in 2011, Channel 4 has not only inspired but offered me… in achieving my goal of becoming a journalist. After learning from some great industry experts, I’m now working on a few exciting projects. I write my own blog about invisible disabilities called HideAndSeek Disabilities Blog which reaches a monthly global audience of thousands. I also regularly write for TMRW Magazine, a music and fashion magazine originally set up by a group of young creative as an online platform but is now stocked by the likes of Harrods and Selfridges and is soon to release its 5th print edition.

From what I’ve learnt, the real key to your success is how you portray and promote your professional self on social media platforms. With TMRW Magazine I helped to initiate a worldwide trend on twitter of #tmrwmagazine which increased our following dramatically and enabled us to connect and collaborate with existing magazines, fashion brands and even celebrities. Not to mention, I first saw my role with Channel 4 advertised on twitter offering a freelance position for a social networker – how fitting.

Using social media as a professional platform is a great way for you to instantly offer a portfolio of your work and get in direct contact with industry professionals without writing copious amounts of cover letters or sending a chain of generic emails. You can simply just drop them a 140 character tweet and within one click they can have access to all your previous work and success. It really is as easy and simple as that.

Author: Abi Stafford

Tweet me: @abistafford

#InvisibleDisabilities Day

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012|Guest posts|by Abigail Stafford|No Comments

Today The Elexu Foundation would like to share a day with our community that was developed by one of our followers, Abigail Stafford. She initiated Invisible Disabilities Day because at the time there wasn’t a general umbrella to raise awareness about disabilities that may not have the publics attention. So if you’re on Twitter, tweet with the hash tag #invisibledisabilities this Friday and learn all sorts about conditions you didn’t even know existed, yet affect people’s lives on a day to day basis.


I’m Abigail Stafford and at the age of 16 I was diagnosed with a hereditary joint condition called hypermobility syndrome Ehlers Danlos Type. After years of suffering with pain and HMS symptoms, I started to wonder why had it taken so long for me to be diagnosed with a condition I was born with? Simple, such little is known about the rare condition in the UK and around the world. So now, at the age of 18, I’m trying to help make the ‘invisible visible’ and raise awareness about #invisibledisabilities.

After attending an inspiring workshop with blogging professionals organised by 4talent, I set up my own blog to help raise awareness about invisible conditions www.hideandseekdisabilities.blogspot.com. The blog was set up as a platform whereby people from all over the world could interact by educating others about their invisible conditions and go to for advice and support from those that are in similar situations.

After the initial success of the blog, I set up a Twitter and Facebook account where people can regularly access short snippets of advice and info. I soon realised, that whilst there are months, weeks and even specific days dedicated to raising awareness about certain conditions, there is no awareness date for the umbrella ‘invisible disabilities’. Therefore, I decided to dedicate Friday 4th may as #invisibledisabilities day! This hopefully will coincide with my HideAndSeek Disabilities Blog reaching the 10,000 hits mark as it’s not too far away from hitting this milestone! On twitter and on the blog, I’ve promoted this day and have got people involved to help raise awareness about all #invisibledisabilities! So if you’re on twitter, tweet with the hash tag #invisibledisabilities this Friday and learn all sorts about conditions you didn’t even know existed, yet affect people’s lives on a day to day basis.

Since its launch in September 2011 I have had an overwhelming response from people across the world, many of them contributing to blog by sending in video clips, links and inspiring stories. Many people, including myself, have already learnt a great deal about disabilities we never knew existed, yet there is so much more we still need to realise and discover.

I have since realised that there isn’t enough support out there for young people, like myself, to help us to persevere in achieving our goals. That’s when I came across Elexu online. I was immediately taken in by the appeal and intentions of the new social platform that will be launching in the near future. A support network whereby the youth of today can access the help they need in making their dreams into reality!

I’m certain that this initiative will reach out to and inspire many young people, like myself to pursue their dreams and showcase their talent by offering resources and competitions for financial support and I’m privileged to be involved with Elexu in its early stages, to witness the whole process of how Elexu succeeds in helping young people achieve their dreams and aspirations.


-Abigail Stafford

www.hideandseekdisabilities.blogspot.com

https://twitter.com/#!/hideandseekid

Elexu Foundation

Thursday, April 26th, 2012|About Elexu|by Martin Zeman|1 Comment

Our mission at Elexu is to “Empower People.” As part of our commitment and dedication to achieving this goal, we have set up a charitable foundation: The Elexu Foundation (Registered Charity No.: 1145975). The aim of the Foundation is specifically to promote social inclusion and support the great charities and NGO’s working in this sector.

The Foundation will help charities by helping them to gain the maximum benefit from using the Elexu platform to host their own competitions to showcase their work and help raise funds. We also want to help young people and charities find new and meaningful ways to reconnect in a digital age. To emphasise this, we have invited an Elexu follower to post about her own charity awareness day next week (Abigail Stafford), so stay tuned for that.

Another benefit of our foundation will be the ability for Elexu members themselves, to easily set up their own competitions and reality formats around social causes as an innovative, entertaining and transparent way to award grants to organizations and individuals, while encouraging Elexu members (both individuals and companies) to get involved and top up the donations. Members have the advantage of setting these up under the umbrella of the Foundation rather than setting up and registering and administering their own charity, which can be quite time consuming as well as costly and burdensome and can receive additional donation top up through our Gift Aid service.

As the Elexu Foundation is just starting up and growing alongside Elexu it is not yet in a position to start its grant-making activities. However, based on our current projections, we expect to begin to do so in late 2012. We have already started building a network of organizations that are doing some amazing work that would truly deserve support. If you believe your charity or NGO could benefit from working with the Elexu Foundation please subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss the opportunities once they arise.

If you would like to get to know us and our community better join us on Twitter and Facebook.