We are 6 weeks in to our 12 week programme. So here is an update on what we have all been up to! – Mike
Dewi & Dave
“During our work so far as Volunteer Project Assistants in the Business Services department David and I have split our time between two different projects. Firstly the Big Energy Saving Network which aims to raise awareness of energy tariff options and assist people with making informed decisions about switching suppliers. This project revolves around delivering advice presentations to various groups such as people on employability workshops. So far we have both delivered one of these presentations each.
The other project we have been working with is an energy efficiency project in partnership with Six Town Housing. This work requires us to knock on the doors of specific residents in various areas of Greater Manchester including Prestwich, Ramsbottom and Ainsworth. We have had some success in getting people to sign up to receive free energy efficiency measures and advice on these issues.”
Mike & Laura
“During our time at Groundwork so far myself and Laura have been mostly working together to complete our projects. I’ll go out in the field and take photos and footage, Laura will write up the press releases and research. So far we have taken part in projects like the Princes Trust Team’s community project handover to Oldham Rugby Union FC, creating new Marketing schemes and updating social networking / the VPA blog.
However we also work on individual projects, so far I’ve documented projects like the 6 Town Housing scheme, the BCO participants, the practical countryside skills programme and The Princes Trust Teams assistance with MENCAPS’s tree growing. I’ve also taken part in more specific projects like senior management’s company profile photography and assisting with photography workshops.
Laura has set up and created instructions for a Groundwork Instagram, increased social networking numbers, created and held surveys, copyrighting and written up case studies.”
“After commencing on the practical countryside skills course from September to November 2013, I began on the VPA programme (both at Groundwork Oldham and Rochdale). For my placement I decided to participate in the Digital Inclusions project based at Sholver Youth and Community Centre in Oldham; one of three projects activities offered by Groundwork Oldham and Rochdale under the Community Coaches programme. The project aims to teach people who would not have access to a computer for various reasons an understanding of basic I.T. literacy, including usage of the mouse, keyboard and the basics of the internet. In my role I am assisting my team leader (Tobias Jones) with help in recruitment for the course, promotion, setting up creative tasks for volunteers to be undertaken (i.e. tasks on the internet such as journey planning and shopping), and researching I.T. skills pertaining to the project as well as trying to implement them in a creative manner.”
“My main placement role is to assist in the delivery of the Practical Countryside Skills programme with Dene and Matt. So each week on a Monday and Tuesday we’ve engaged in outdoor practical conservation work. So far we have undertaken path clearance, woodland management, pond clearance, litter picking and site clean-up work. On a Wednesday the learners stay at the Groundwork office to take part in classroom work. We have focused on a variety of topics – hand tool maintenance, animals in the wild and in society, pests and diseases.”
As well as my main project role, I have also taken the lead in writing a funding bid for Littleborough based charity Animals in Distress at the Field of Dreams centre to improve an access road to their site and the Pennine Bridleway. In order to gain project management and organisational skills I have also been helping to organise a number of growing days at Fulwood nature reserve and two volunteer sessions for the Practical Countryside Skills groups. These projects are on-going.