Hi from the new VPA team

Hello from the new VPA team!!

In week 1 after going through Jo’s back catalogue of team building games we headed off to the Peak District National Park for our two day residential.

After going a bit mad with the Tesco food order (other supermarket delivery services are available) we arrived to find a table full of food and met Helen our Peak District Ranger who would be leading the conservation project.

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On day one we started our task in line with the Peak District Biodiversity Action Plan, which involved clearing Hawthorn to allow the growth of wild flowers. Helen provided a background of the current priorities for the Peak District National Park and of the specific area in which we would be working.

Grateful for the fire, we sent Jo out to get marshmallows to toast.

Peak Ranger Helen giving Tobias and Jess a Fire Safety demonstration

Both days ended in a two course feast in addition to biscuits and hot chocolate which more than made up for all the calorie’s burnt off from working outside all day. On the menu on day one was Chicken Thai green curry and Sticky Toffee pudding with gallons of toffee sauce.

mmm...world's biggest sticky toffee pudding

On day two we feasted on burrito’s and apple crumble and by 9 o’ clock were all ready for bed. As if we didn’t feel sick enough the more greedy of us also topped this off with marshmallow biscuits and hot chocolates whilst complaining we were too full!

Burrito madness

Tired from a day’s hard work and stuffed from ridiculous amounts of food we spent the evening repeatedly asking whether it was too soon to go to bed and  playing more of Jo’s favourite made up creations. Highlights included Cranium, fruit (= John Prescott?) and Whaa! which Tobias and Jess were forced to play for an extra 15 minutes until one of them eventually won.

After a full English breakfast (because we really hadn’t eaten enough food) we arrived back at Groundwork knackered and ready to do more of the same at Boarshaw Clough on Monday!

Double Rainbow!!


And then there was two…

We are moving away from the norm here, although I will fluctuate in and out of the key topic (All That Magazine), as it is my last day as a VPA today.

The folder is done…the magazine is not.

But do not panic as at the end of February the free, 32 page first edition will be hitting the streets and I could not leave the project for a paid internship in a happier position.

Pages are being set, ads are being sold and solid foundations and key contacts are being cemented for future contributions to the second editon.

I know after posting I will recall: “I should have said this…” etc but what I am about to list should sell the VPA project for anyone interested.

From three total unknowns meeting at Groundwork Oldham and Rochdale on the first day to three months down the line and a solid team which each of us bringing different skills to the project.

Personal highlights have included meeting all the differing organisations in Oldham for young people to access, I knew there was a few, but not this many! If the magazine can help guide young people then we have completed a point in our mantra.

Presenting the magazine in two assemblies at Hulme Grammar in front of 300 students each time was an amazing experience but just as good was working alongside Princes Trust team O81 from start to their final presentation.

From turning drafted plans on paper to pages being set in the magazine has been a tough process and copy-chasing is real hard work but I can only thank all the contributors we have worked with so far for their patience and hard work.

Aside from the bonus it will give my CV I have enjoyed the experience and learnt from mistakes that have been made and “better” approaches that could be made to certain tasks.

This post would go on too long if I thanked everyone who has helped me along this journey but my co-volunteers, Jo Fullman at Groundwork and Steve Duthie and Tony Mackin at Oldham Evening Chronicle need special mention.

Here’s to All That magazine becoming a hit!


All That Magazine update

The magazine is starting to become more of a solid product now, paper designs are turning into page layouts on computer and contributions are starting to creep in.

The first two entrants into the draw to win a Kindle are featured on our WordPress. They are a student from Radclyffe School and a student from Crompton House Sixth Form.

While we haven’t broken down all doors yet, we have certainly wedged our foot in some. Radclyffe School being a firm example, the VPA’s presented in front of 30 students recently and interest was risen, contributors forms filled in and hopefully soon more content will follow.

Mahdlo, Oldham Youth Council, Go Oldham, Positive Steps and more are working with us to ensure we represent the diversity of Oldham’s young people and ensure a variety of voices come out in the magazine.

For an early taster, the 32-page free magazine will feature Pride in Oldham winners, the Small Cinema Club and a potential future basketball star!

Interviews for the new team have been held, and the magazine will be in good hands as we move forward ahead of the first edition.

Keep track of us on Twitter and Facebook but ahead we have an assembly at Hulme Grammar School, presentation at Oldham College and the final presentation of Princes Trust team 81 at Groundwork Oldham and Rochdale.