First week on project!

Hello! Here is the first VPA instalment of the hugely anticipated Spring VPA Scheme 2013 blog! Undoubtedly you will all be bouncing around with excitement at receiving this update, so please settle down and allow me to indulge you in our first week of activity!

Having completed our two-week introduction to the VPA programme and Groundwork as an organisation, we have now started our individual projects. Already I find myself with a long and growing to-do list which is great as I like to be busy!

On Monday I met with Izzy who I’ll be working with on the Energy Efficiency Scheme on behalf of Rochdale Boroughwide Housing. This pilot project aims to improve the energy efficiency of households with the Smallbridge area, through small installation measures and promoting energy efficient lifestyles. We’ve been out to site to see the area and met some of the local volunteer we’ll be working with to coordinate the project. Already it’s clear to see the area with benefit from the investment and hopefully this scheme will grow in size and be the first of many!

Wednesday saw me making fun maps on ArcGIS and outside in the BEA-utiful yet freezing cold weather, starting the National Access Project with my project officer Jo. This involves using gadgets to map a 53 mile stretch of British waterway on behalf of the Canal & River Trust. I’m looking forward to when the hot weather rolls in and I’ll be getting plenty of vitamin D and exercise!
Thursday brought about the first weekly team meeting and cemented the project’s commitment to ‘fattening’ up the VPA’s. We’ve had flapjacks, a buffet lunch and have now committed to the cake at every meeting :O

Friday is my first conservation day, fingers crossed for a sunny day and a warming fire on site 😛

Thanks for reading



Week two in the VPA Programme

This week our VPAs have attended a lot of training to prepare them for starting project delivery next week!
On Monday we took a tour of the building in Higginshaw and found out about all the different staff and projects going on in the building. In the afternoon we had safeguarding training with Jo Fullman.
On Tuesday we met Andrew Fowler the Marketing officer to learn about press releases, social media, promoting the work of the trust and took part in a photography workshop. The team also celebrated shrove Tuesday by cooking up pancakes at lunch time 🙂
On Wednesday we met Clare Young the HR Officer who delivered some training for us on equality and diversity.
On Thursday we had Health and Safety training with Ian Holloway followed by an IT induction and introduction to Environmental Management Systems with magical Mike Beere the Training and Quality Coordinator.
Today has been spent on Irkside nature site with Matt Lynwood and Dene Marland getting to grips with the Practical Countryside Skills part of our programme.
Next week we will get our new volunteers to some posts about how they are getting on so far!
Jo and Gemma
(The photos in this post were all taken by the team on photography training)

Welcome to the new team!


Team pic

Today we have welcomed 8 new recruits to our VPA team! Kyle, Anisa, Steve, Gleice, Sairah, Kay, Daniel and Ben will be joining us for 12 weeks to volunteer on a number of projects and build on their experience.

You can read more about the new team by clicking on the ‘current vpa’ tab.

We are really looking forward to the next few months with this lovely group of enthusiastic volunteers!

Jo and Gemma