Peoples-uni works as a result of the efforts of our students and our volunteers. We're keen to introduce our readers to our volunteers and our students and with that in mind, we'll be running occasional interviews.Tonight's interview is with Fiona Reynolds who is a member of the Leadership Team. Some of our students may have swapped a few emails with her to check assignment submissions and results. Fiona is a Consultant in Public Health and works in Cheshire, UK.Hi, Fiona. Thanks for talking to us tonight. Can you tell us about your role in volunteering with Peoples-uni?I mostly work behind the scenes. I’m the link-tutor with our accrediting university but prior to that I was the Module Leader on the HIV module. I originally trained to be a journalist and as a result I've found myself running the Peoples-uni Blog and I'm also one of the Twitter Team. I've been chasing people to be interviewed for the Blog so I thought I should also be interviewed - I can hardly ask everyone else to do something I'm unwilling to do!Why did you choose to volunteer with Peoples-uni?I joined Peoples-uni in 2007 when Dick was looking for volunteers to begin piloting our very first module in Maternal Mortality. The idea of improving access to training and education really appealed to me – personally and professionally. I was the first member of my family to attend university and education has created amazing opportunities for me that would have been beyond my reach otherwise. I was also very interested in the delivery of training and supporting skills development through online education and the chance to work with people from all over the world was very attractive.What do you enjoy most about volunteering with Peoples-uni?I can’t believe how much we have achieved together! In seven years, we’ve built a comprehensive programme of Masters-level Public Health education and I love the fact that this is through a network of people giving their time freely to support this. The amount of time that people are willing to devote to this project is phenomenal. It’s also tremendously impressive and rewarding to see the students developing their skills, progressing to other qualifications, promotions, new jobs and best of all volunteering with Peoples-uni. (That's my favourite part of the Blog - reading students' opinions and experiences).How have you benefited from volunteering with Peoples-uni?Having the chance to work with and learn from the students and other volunteers is a real privilege. I’ve learned a great deal about online learning, while tutoring on two modules (Maternal Mortality and HIV) has also helped me to develop my knowledge. I was training to be a Consultant in Public Health when I volunteered with Peoples-uni. I was able to use my experience with Peoples-uni to demonstrate the skills I needed for that role – academic experience, writing journal articles and conference papers (about the work of Peoples-uni). Some of the work we have done behind the scenes to establish Peoples-uni has also helped me improve my skills around organisation and planning. Now that I am qualified, I am able to use my learning from Peoples-uni to fulfill CPD (Continuing Professional Development) requirements.How can we improve what Peoples-uni offers?I think there is scope for developing more modules, for example, in Infection Control. We could also focus more on short courses for people who aren’t looking for a complete MPH but wish to “top-up” their skills. I’d like to see more students returning as tutors and volunteers to help Peoples-uni build on what it has achieved.And finally, what are their hopes and aspirations?I want to be able to make a difference to people’s lives for the better and working in Public Health creates an opportunity to do that – to create an environment that is healthy. Health is about more than health appointments – it’s about where we live, work and play – and we can’t say that health is the responsibility of only one department/organisation. We need healthy transport, healthy planning and healthy economy… and all the components need to recognise their relationship within the whole system. Norway's Public Health White Paper has a great title which sums up this idea: Good Health - A Common Responsibility. It's a great paper too, though 85 pages long! http://www.regjeringen.no/pages/38540657/PDFS/STM201220130034000EN_PDFS.pdfThanks, Fiona!

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