Helping Hands – the CMC Volunteers.

Posted on: Thursday 10 July 2014 1:37pm by David Twyman

David Twyman - BBC Children'sDavid Twyman produced the Career Development session for our student volunteers, which takes place before most people arrive, on Tuesday afternoon.  Our 80+ volunteers are taken through some tough love on starting out in the industry.  David also stepped in at the last minute to produce the much-loved Innovation Forum at CMC (and he took leave from work to do it!)  So his Hero of the Revolution medal is on its way…

Hands volunteers 14I had the great opportunity and honour to produce the Volunteer Career Guidance Session for the CMC this year. The aim of the session is to illuminate career opportunities in Children’s Media for the Volunteers who work so tirelessly to support the conference. The panel represented a great cross section of what Children’s Media is about (publishing, animation, commissioning, licencing etc…).

Helen McAleer, Chief Global Development Officer, Walker Books Group 
Mike Dee, Director of Content, Coolabi
Dan Good, Managing Director, Absolutely Cuckoo
Jackie Edwards, Executive Producer, CBeebies

I couldn’t have asked for a more good natured panel, and they were up for anything (within reason).  As I’ve volunteered myself in the past, I knew how important and unique this session is. It’s a practical demonstration of how much the students are appreciated at the CMC. (They even get their own CMC Business cards which is a nice touch).

The speakers talked about their varied careers. They were honest and open, admitting to redundancies, having to close companies because of financial pressures and starting out in totally different industries before moving into children’s media.  The volunteers also asked a lot of questions – including: how to pitch projects; whether you should relocate for a job;  and when you should say no to unpaid internships!

If the volunteers learned half as much as I did, then that’s mission accomplished.  I took away some great nuggets about how people enter the industry; how to take a view of the way one moves through a career; how to deal with setbacks; and top tip – when presenting ideas always have more than one to show!  But there are no simple answers to taking those first steps.  What was clear by the end was how random, coincidental and varied careers in children’s media can be.

I’m proud to have been part of a conference which provides career guidance to new entrants in the media.

Now you can all do your bit…

Vols laugh 2014The CMC runs a Facebook Group for its volunteers, with over 180 young people who have helped at CMC events over the last few years.  If you have opportunities, are looking for short-term help, can offer work-expereince or internships, or starter jobs – please let know and he’ll post it in the group.  It’s a great place to focus your recruitment.

There are undergraduates and graduates in media production, marketing, PR, event-management, and a range of other disciplines.  These are the good guys – you may even have met some them – give them the chances they deserve.



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David Twyman

About the author

David Twyman

BBC Children's, Repeats and Independents, Scheduling

David Twyman is an individual with an infectious enthusiasm for developing and producing content for young people. He has been in Children’s media for 4 years and is currently based in the BBC Children’s scheduling team, where he works with many independent production companies and the BBC Children’s Indie Executive… Read more