Luke Buckland is a 21 year old student, taking a year out from his Politics degree before his final year at the University of Portsmouth. From Yateley, he joined Citizens Advice Hart this year as a communications volunteer, helping us in particular with our expanding social media work, and to keep a relentless focus on audience groups – whether that be young people, commuters, or young mums.
“Getting involved as a volunteer was a way of doing something about the social causes which are important to me, as well getting some experience in PR and campaigning.”
Before heading off to university in Portsmouth, Luke was a student at Yateley School, and then Farnborough VIth Form. When he is not campaigning, Luke is a keen runner, and music fan, with favourite acts including Alt-J, whose debut album “An Awesome Wave” was released in 2012 (see the video to the track ‘Tessellate’ taken from the album, below).
“The issues of most importance to me, and which I think are crucial to the future work of Citizens Advice are homelessness and housing; mental health; and the cost of living amongst students.”
Alongside his work with Citizens Advice Hart, Luke is a a keen champion of debate on social media, having set up the “Hampshire Politics” group on Facebook. He is also a driving force behind the #HomesNotHandcuffs campaign, which aims to challenge the criminalising of homelessness on the streets of Hampshire and other counties.
“I spend a lot of time speaking with homeless people, particularly around Portsmouth. It has had a real impact on me, and like Citizens Advice work directly with clients, it humanises the issues. It is all well and good reading about issues in the media, but it is another ball game when you actually speak to the people affected by policies or decisions.”
Luke is keen that other young people in the area get involved with Citizens Advice Hart by volunteering their skills. “Whether it is in the traditional advice work, or with the communications or campaigning work we are doing, it is a great way of doing something to help people understand the way society works (or doesn’t), and get some experience into the bargain – so if you are a young person looking to get involved, or know one who might be, get in touch!”
You can follow Luke on Twitter: @L11key