19th November 2014 – Day 33 of the apprenticeship – Written by Adam R Lambert, one of the 13 New apprentices Edventure: Frome has taken on this year in a bold move as this is nearly double the seven apprentices that they had for the 2012 – 2013 course.

After just a couple of days together the apprentices were thrown in at the deep end with a challenge to head to Frome Community College and give a short but personal speech about their personal journeys and what bought them to Edventure. Three of the apprentices braved this task along with a couple of returning apprentices and spoke from the heart to the entire of year 9 – around 200 pupils, who had been at the school for only a couple of weeks after ascending from the middle schools in town. Following this all of the apprentices spread out among the hall to facilitate a workshop with the students to help them come up with an idea for a product or service that will be available at the Frome Christmas market.

The pace continued to be rapid fire as the apprentices were given just a couple of hours to pull a plan together for hosting around 20 contributors of Edventure for the evening. The result of which was a slightly surreal hour of speed dating with questions varying from favourite foods to the meaning of life.

The next week proved much calmer with the introduction of the “Oasis Game” in which the apprentices were tasked with the continued development of he Welshmill hub, following on from the work of the 2012/2013 apprentices, though unfortunately this time around we had no real budget to speak of and were only able to work with what we already had or what we could get for free.

This week culminated in the fulfilment of Edventure founder Johannes Moeller’s several year long dream for an indoor greenhouse – which doesn’t actually grow any plants but serves as a small and comfortable office – that was kindly donated from a home in nearby Westbury and disassembled one long Saturday by a handful of apprentices before being taken to its new home to be painstakingly cleaned and reassembled.

Between these challenges and the weeks that followed the apprentices days were interspersed with small workshops and meetings ranging from a highly informative workshop on starting a business with local entrepreneur Gavin Eddy to a highly emotional meeting with Jo Berry and Patrick McGee who are a duo of inspirational speakers who came together after Jo’s father was killed in the Brighton bombing of 1984, a crime of which Patrick was convicted of.

The next task that followed was a fundraising challenge in which the apprentices split into several teams and are currently working towards several goals such as ‘Wild Things’ who are producing a line of products made with locally foraged ingredients. And another team who has managed to organise the ‘Unexpected Marathon’ which is showing the first two Hobbit films in an overnighter at Westway Cinema (Friday the 5th of December at 10pm to 5am – tickets available right now at the cinema for the bargain price of ¬£5)

It was during this time that one of the thirteen apprentices found the opportunity and the drive to fulfil a lifelong dream and so sadly had to say farewell to Edventure and is hopefully doing well in her new endeavour.

Alongside the fundraising challenge two more challenges were introduced;

A community dining event organised by two of the apprentices in conjunction with Fair Frome with the aim to provide a free cooked meal to hopefully a couple of dozen members of the Welshmill area, along with educating them on cheaper food alternatives and how to cook on a budget.

The second challenge that is running alongside the dining challenge is the Community Garden challenge, an ambitious project that revolves around the development of a small patch of land owned by the council that backs onto the end of the allotments and runs alongside the river Frome.

For this challenge the ten remaining apprentices split into three smaller teams;

The ‘Consultation team’ is made up of three apprentices and are in charge of consulting with the major stakeholders that have a vested interest in the project and with the community at large who will be the primary benefactors of the garden when it is completed. This team are also responsible for creating several volunteer action days alongside the formation of all of the ideas floating around into a straightforward cohesive proposal that was given the go ahead by Frome Town Council.

The second team is the ‘Garden team’ which is made up of four apprentices and are responsible for the development of the land into a fertile ‘forest garden’ which is formed by several different layers of plant life working together in natural harmony to create a self supporting ecosystem that will require minimal maintenance but will provide a lush green hideaway that can be enjoyed by all.

The third team is made up of the final three apprentices and is referred to as the ‘Shelter team’ who will be constructing a small wooden round house using green woodworking techniques and will be showcasing a reciprocal roof that will display an ingenuity of construction that is not commonly seen. The roundhouse will provide shelter for 20 – 30 people on the six large sheltered benches installed. Around the site the Shelter team will also be providing several benches in set seating areas in the forest garden which will give the community a great location to sit in nature while on a walk or on their lunch breaks.

The project will involve two community days in which any who wish to get involved in the creation of the forest garden can turn up and pitch in. These days will be on the 29th of November and the 6th of December. If you want to take part contact the consultation team at ‘[email protected]’ or simply show up on the day, dressed to get dirty.

The completion of the Garden challenge will take part on the 12th of December with a celebratory feast in which all are welcome.

With just over a month length of term one I for one can’t wait to see what we can accomplish in this time and what the new year will hold for us all.

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