Reflecting on a year working at SCM

After a year of working for SCM, today (5th September) is my final day with this incredible organisation, and as one of my final acts I wanted to write something that captured, at least in part, what a privilege it has been to be a small part of this amazing movement.

I came to SCM wary of working for a Christian organisation. I had done so previously, and in many ways it had been a pretty damaging experience for me. Whilst I had worked with some genuinely lovely people, I had also worked with some whose expressions of faith and how they put this into action were far removed from my own. In addition, I was struggling with how I related to other Christians, as many of those I was meeting at the time I applied for my role with SCM held views that I found deeply troubling. Rather than showing love and inclusivity, two of the fundamental pillars I associate with my Christian faith, many expressed views that ranged from homophobic and misogynistic to Islamophobic and racist.

One of the things I have really loved to do while working for SCM is delivering workshops to groups, and hearing first-hand from students within the movement how much it has meant to them to find ‘their people’. The importance of the welcome and home that SCM has provided to those who have come from church backgrounds that haven’t always been welcoming and inclusive, and in some cases have been downright abusive and damaging, is not something I can quite put into words. However, what I can say is that seeing how SCM puts its values into action, creating spaces where people from all walks of life feel loved and accepted, has been energising and has been an expression of the Christian love I was struggling to find at an institutional level before working here.

Besides being a safe and inclusive space for our student members, SCM has also lived out its values and shown nothing but love in its approach to how it treats its staff. So much so that I now feel a bit spoiled, and have incredibly high standards when looking for new opportunities! Personally, I have been given space to grow, to explore my own faith and how I put my faith into action, and I’ve been provided with every opportunity to upskill and develop myself professionally. At the same time, my welfare and wellbeing has been top of the SCM agenda. I will forever be grateful for the love I received from colleagues during the first few months following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, while I struggled to come to terms with having someone I cared deeply about now living in a warzone. Rather than worry about my work outputs the worry was for my own welfare, and I was encouraged to take all the time I needed to deal with the emotional overwhelm I was struggling with.

The last year has taught me so much, about Christian love and understanding, about myself, about my faith and how to be a better person. I will forever be thankful for the opportunity to work here – and I don’t think it is at all a coincidence that this is the first charity I have worked for that upon leaving I would gladly support financially. If anyone is reading this who is considering applying for a job with SCM I would encourage you all to do it – you won’t be disappointed. As I was told before I applied for my job (by those I trust who had personal experience of working and volunteering here) ‘you won’t find a nicer bunch to work for’. More than that, the work that SCM does really does matter and it makes a lasting impact on its members, and I don't think there is much more that you can ask for.

I might be leaving my employment with SCM today, but that doesn’t mean my time with the organisation is coming to an end. It just means the relationship is changing, as I intend to be involved with SCM for many years to come.