VPA beach day!

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Yesterday the VPA team got together for a team building trip out to the beach. Every month on the programme we have a day away from the projects to reflect and have fun 🙂
We had a picnic, parachute games and competed in the VPA beach olympics! Events included the crab race, a fancy dress relay, hula – athlon and ring toss.
Rashid made a delicious Banana cake (hopefully he will share the recipe on here soon!)
Can’t wait for the next one in August.
Jo

Bulky Bobs Oldham VPA Placement

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Hello, Jo here, one of the VPA team leaders. I’ve had a nice afternoon visiting Aissata on her Volunteer Project Assistant placement at Bulky Bobs in Oldham. Bulky Bobs are an award winning business who re-use, recycle and refurbish old furniture to divert it from landfill. They collect unwanted household goods on behalf of the council and this furniture is then made available to families or individuals on low income.
Throughout the VPA’s placements I meet with all the team members individually to ensure they are working towards their goals and gaining valuable experience on the team.
Aissata’s responsibilities as a volunteer are to greet customers and show them around the warehouse so they can choose new furniture, to process the enquiries from people wanting their old items collected, to keep the database up to date and to keep an accurate record of what is currently in stock. Aissata has also been given responsibility for contacting new customers over the phone.
Aissata has been really enjoying the placement and is clearly a valued member of the team. Thanks to Bulky Bobs Oldham for providing an excellent placement! If you would like to find out more about Bulky Bobs please click here for a link to the website.
Jo

External VPA Placements Update

New VPA team
Alongside our Volunteer Project Assistants based at Groundwork we also run an external volunteer programme in partnership with Oldham Council, Oldham Evening Chronicle and Bulky Bobs to provide a wider range of placement options for adults and graduates. Here is the latest update from the new team!

After our initial settling in period of the first week, we external VPA’s for Groundwork were finally getting into the swing of things. For starters, Spencer Garlick, a VPA member who is working to improve his skills in construction, was helping on a building site in Langley, Rochdale, to improve the houses in the area as part of a local government project. Spencer really enjoyed his week however, the project was hampered by some delays in getting vital construction equipment to the site to enable the project to be finished on time. Despite this, the workers, including Spencer, toiled on to help make up some lost time before Manchester Radio came to interview some of the workers about the project. Although Spencer himself didn’t get interviewed, some of his colleagues did which he enjoyed watching whilst he carried on plastering!
Our second VPA, Ndanji, was back in her placement for the council working in housing and local area projects. This week she was involved in handing out leaflets within the local area to promote how to manage your money for an upcoming event. She also undertook meetings to discuss local neighbourhood improvements as well as dealing with neighbourhood complaints.
Our third VPA, Katy, had a shorter week at her placement at the Oldham Chronicle this week due to having a few days off to attend her university graduation, however, she still had an interesting week. She was sent on a reporting errand at Mahdlo Youth Zone in Oldham as part of her work for the All That youth magazine she is project managing along with her colleague Laura. The task was to report on a session young people were running, where issues young people discovered when trying to get a job were discussed and tips were given. She interviewed several people including young people from the borough, staff at Mahdlo and Oldham’s resident Youth Mayor. She had never undertaken a reporting task before but she felt the experience was a very useful addition to her skill set.
Sadly, two of our VPA’s, Jackie and Laura were ill this week but we look forward to hearing about their experiences at our next meeting.

A final thanks from this blog must also go out to Gemma and Jo for taking us out on Monday for our team building day to the Naked Bean café for some lunch, as well as to Alexandra park for some hot weather orienteering and a well-deserved ice cream.

Naked bean cafe Oldham

Alexandra Park Oldham

Orienteering

Until next week,

Groundwork’s external VPA team!

Reservoir trails project update

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Hi I’m Melissa – my placement at Groundwork is split between assisting with the delivery of Level 1 Practical Countryside Skills and the Watershed landscapes Reservoir Trails Project.
Matt, Dene and I took the current Practical Countryside Skills team on a reservoir trail to Blackstone Edge in the South Pennines. There were 10 of us altogether and everyone was enthusiastic about the walk. The trail was 3 miles long, with great views of Hollingworth Lake and the surrounding area, we could also see Manchester city centre in the distance. The weather was glorious and we needed lots of water throughout the day. The walk was really pleasant, sometimes the track was quite uneven and steep up the Roman Road but it was worth it for the views. We walked to the Aiggin Stone (600 years old) which was the highest point of the trail. We followed a canal bed back to the minibus and had a well deserved rest!
To find out more about Reservoir trails and access downloadable maps of the walk routes please click here

Melissa

Ted.com – access inspirational talks

We love TED – short informative and inspiring talks with something for everyone. If you haven’t done so already go check it out! Bjork’s playlist is quite interesting 🙂 http://www.ted.com/playlists/57/bj%C3%B6rk_6_talks_that_are_music.html

University of Manchester Careers Blog

ted_logo-300x158I’ve just been browsing Ted.com , an online resource for inspirational talks. It’s free and easy to use as talks are grouped under categories such as Entertainment. This is a great way to broaden your knowledge on, for example, the impact of social media on the communications industry and how we access information. Check it out and see what you think!

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