Our Edventure: Start-Up students are making their ideas real this week.
By Jake Inker
And we’re off!
After having recharged our Edventure batteries over the weekend we came into the new week ready to hit the ground running. Having been assigned our roles for the project we began to set out the plan of action for the duration of the remaining weeks. We collaborated group to group and deliberated on how we could begin to piece together the puzzle, each of us being an imperative building block within the process.
A gantt chart was implemented giving us a clear indication of how the final weeks would unwind. The gantt chart offered us clarity on the projection of our plan week to week as well as some transparency on when deadlines would need to be met and when exactly groups would need to collaborate with one another.
Communication is Key !
Wanting to reach as much of the community as possible the communications team had their work cut out for them this week. They got the ball rolling by contacting the Frome Times and having an article published, highlighting our current project for the local community to read about.
With the three volunteer dates as well as the launch event date now set into stone they began creating an advertisement in order to actively promote them. Following the completion of the advertisement it was put to print ready for distribution. Members from the Edventure team distributed the posters/flyers around Frome and the local community in order to maximise the outreach. The social media teams also began their methods of outreach by sharing the event online via Eventbrite, Facebook, e-flyers, etc.
Meanwhile other members from Edventure got down to brass tacks by visiting the Walled Garden and deciding a plan of action for the poly tunnel design/build. Dimensions and measurements totted up, ideas for the design and build of the polytunnel needing to be deliberated before implementation.
Alongside all of this the fellow Edventure students were preoccupied with their tasks at hand. We had all definitely hit the ground running. By the end of the week the foundations had been laid and the groundwork set. All ready and eager for the first volunteer date hastily approaching as well as the continuation of our pre-determined tasks going forward… However of-course, after some much needed rest over the weekend.
Our Edventure Start-Up Students are reflecting on different aspects of themselves…
By Zoe Houghton
DAY BY DAY VIEW…
This phase began on Wednesday afternoon after we had presented our ideas to Johannas, Sam and Amelia, and the rest of the group. It was amazing to see how far we had come with our individual presenting skills. We felt relaxed and confident and the Edventure team were very impressed. However, the review session with Sam afterwards made our brains go from calm → frazzled as she seemed to have many ideas of her own, and instead of continuing the flow of our condensed ideas, she opened up all of the potential possibilities of what could be achieved a lot wider than we had anticipated!
So, Wednesday morning began with a check in about how we felt about Tuesday’s entire session. It seemed that in general the group felt overwhelmed and thankfully, we found out that Johannas had distilled both ours and her plans the previous night, ready to give us a brief to go into the next phase. Then after lunch, we dived into the process of transforming ideas into plans…
On Thursday morning we organised our “to do” lists into weekly plans. Using post – it notes and a piece of paper representing each week, we began to create timelines. We had arranged the tasks into categories the previous day, and we broke into 5 teams to start noting ideas of what needed to happen when. The smaller teams then all came together to explain what they had decided on the time scale of now only 5 more weeks to go! The afternoon of the end of the week ended how it usually does, with an activity to decompress and review, facilitated by Amelia. This activity included each of us making our own pie shape out of circles, and dividing it into slices of advice for ourselves, as a source of self – help, so that we can be our best, thriving selves for the rest of the Edventure course. We found this to be a really therapeutic exercise, and then afterwards talked about what qualities we wanted to bring into next week working together.
On Monday morning we were assigned the task of curating roles for all the different things that needed to be done after putting them into categories. The group divided into their small teams again to come up with roles, which were then presented to the group, although we didn’t feel like we left enough time – only 10 minutes! In the afternoon, we had a guest called Andy come in to do personality tests with us, using “colour energies” and trying to see which people resonated with what colours the most. He did this by encouraging the group to work both individually, and to give personal feedback to the rest of their team members, in an aim for people to understand what kind of roles might suit them the most. We found that this was fun and a nice way to empower people with positive feedback. We did however feel that putting people into categories can also be limiting, and that, actually we may in fact resonate with many different ‘colour energies’ at different times in our lives.
Feedback from Tammie, Edventure student, for the session with Andy:
“I found that looking at the different aspects of myself and what that means to what I bring to a role really insightful, and has really helped me look at what aspects I can really draw on and what areas I need to develop and be kind to myself with.”
The BIG DAY! On Monday night we were assigned the homework of deciding what role we wanted and why- categorised into our top 3, and on Tuesday morning we each had to “sell ourselves” to the group of what roles we wanted. The next part was awkward and tricky, to say the least, as a lot of people wanted similar roles and it felt quite confrontational to put people up against each other with everyone in the room. However, the team handled it really well, and we were all kind, reasonable and respectful in our insights and choices. After almost 4 hours of decisions, and Amelia and Zak facilitating, we were finally assigned to our roles, and not only roles we were good at, but also ones we wanted, so in general, everyone left the ‘interview day’ feeling satisfied. Then after lunch, it was straight into planning our 3rd presentation!!
Wednesday and Thursday …
On Wednesday morning the team put together a presentation where they described what roles they had decided, and what needed to be done by when, with key dates and rough plans. The team divided into lead and co-lead roles to do this, and in general we found that we felt a lot more relaxed for this presentation. Amelia, Johannas and Sam were impressed, and left us, this time, with more digestible feedback than last time, so that we could crack on with the doing, and enter the next phase ready with energy and enthusiasm for “action”.
Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning involved us diving into our tasks, and fulfilling our roles, and then on Thursday afternoon, as per custom, we had our weekly review, but in a new and greener setting. The team went to a nearby wild forest spot to build a fire, share food, and feedback on this phase, and how we felt moving into our “independent” roles. This afternoon was our favourite so far, being so nature-based as a group, we found it a highly nourishing experience!
A constructive, creative, cooperative week for our Edventure Start-Up Students…
By Julia Bergamin
This phase felt very positive and joyful in many ways. Ideas want to be seen, talked about, developed and celebrated – they crave love and acceptance. During the research phase of this project it was often difficult for all of us, including Sam our client, to hold back on the ideas. We held back because, as we had learned from Johannes, research should be focused observation of what actually is not what could be. Jumping ahead can lead to oversights or dangerous assumptions being made. After diligently working on our research topics to gain insights, finally, we were allowed to let our ideas burst out, and so they did, enthusiastically and in great numbers!
We were treated to a fantastic training session from Jude Claybourne who showed us ways to be physically embodied throughout ideas generation and how to sync our rhythms together so that we could collaborate effectively as a team. We did this by using a form of group play that sharpened our focus while bringing out optimism and humour.
Jude also taught us about 3 distinct stages or ‘hats’ to wear while working on ideas; the dreamer, the realist and the critic.
The dreamer has no limitations, all ideas are good! We practised celebrating each other’s ideas, shouting “HELL YEAH!” and building on wild ideas spontaneously, thick and fast. This was a fantastic exercise and we all felt liberated and energised. The realist then puts on his hat and says, “Great idea -so, how? who? when? what will be needed?” This stage takes the wild and wonderful ideas of the dreamer and builds them hypothetically, making them more real by adding detail. Finally the critic enters the room and picks holes in the work of the previous two, essentially trying to break it by finding its flaws and weaknesses. This is not for the pleasure of bringing an idea down, of course, but to make it stronger and more viable. Could this idea in fact work?
We worked in teams to develop ideas for 3 intertwined areas of the project: the offer, the physical space and communications. The greatest challenge we faced was to cope with the huge quantity of ideas that we came up with. Post-it notes galore!
My greatest insight from this process was the understanding that ideas are not strokes of genius or the result of one person’s ambition, but in fact the result of mashing things together, constructive, cooperative building, with a genuine desire to solve a problem and meet someone’s needs.
I particularly enjoyed the prototyping element when we made quick mock-ups to aid in developing our ideas and to use as part of our presentations. I spent a couple of hours making a mock-up model of the walled garden space. Other team members made quick mock-ups of posters, mood boards and sketched designs.
Here we are all together presenting our ideas to Sam and the rest of the team at Edventure!
At the end of the phase we recapped our work and our learning as is customary at Edventure by doing something fun together – this time we played pictionary.
Finally, a big thanks from the whole team to Tammie for facilitating this phase! Well done!
This week has been all about inspiration and insight for our Edventure Start-Up Students…
By Emma Lacey Williams
Having spent the previous week laying the foundations and ‘building community’ through learning about each other and hosting the Edventure Soup evening, I was personally very excited and intrigued by the next step in the process – the “Research” phase. The team also grew in numbers as Jake arrived in Frome and joined us on our Edventure adventure.
I reviewed the details of the phase in our weekly Student Handbook:
“Discovery. It’s about gathering inspiration, insights, absorbing and making sense of information related to the group’s challenge. Your task is to take everything you learn through this phase and refine it into a presentation to give to the Edventure team and your client, Samantha.“
Right. Climbing K2 was suddenly feeling like a more achievable goal! However… we were not sent off into the wilds without supplies or survival skills…
Our journey began with the question “Where do ideas come from?” Discovering where ideas originate was merely the first step in this incredible process. But where do ideas come from? This was just the beginning…
Johannes supplied us with a series of tools for navigating our way through this challenge. These included considering different types of research, reviewing a fantastic 80’s video entitled “The Deep Dive – IDEO Shopping Cart” (I found myself wondering “How deep can you really dive in a shopping cart?”) and some tips on how to stay on the path to “good research”.
Having discussed the root of ideas and how to research, we were then advised to “hold off” on the ideas… “Right. Dive into research. Find inspiration. But then don’t have ideas”…. Hummm….
Climbing K2 whilst blindfolded was seeming like an easier option than this!
But nevertheless we donned our thinking caps and brushed off our enquiring spirits to take on the challenge. We split into 4 groups, each group taking one area of research from the following: 3 detailed case studies of similar initiatives; customer / stakeholder research including facilitating a stakeholder workshop; an interview with Sam as our client and a site visit and considering the ‘bigger picture’ through research and expert input. So, off we started on our different research paths, with only a few days before meeting back at the point of presentation.
I was personally involved in the group tasked with delving into customer research. The Stakeholder workshop was deemed a success with 10 people attending, all with lots to pass on about The Walled Garden at Mells and therapeutic horticulture. We posed three key questions which were “How could the space be used?”, “How does the space need to be adapted?” and “Who would benefit from using this space?”. Although we gathered a fair amount of insight from this research, surely there were many more people we needed to engage with to conduct our research?
We had some phone conversations, organised some meetings and stumbled across an opportunity that was almost too good to believe! The morning before the presentation, our research team, with support drafted in from the other teams, hosted a focus group with over 50 over-65 year olds at the Frome and District Day Centre.
Now the ‘easy’ bit had been traversed… the next step was to distill our research into four 5-10 minute presentations. By the following day.
K2. Blindfolded. Wearing flip flops. That’s all I have to say about that.
However, the teams took this in their stride and presented to our client Sam, to our facilitator team and to other members of the Edventure family.
These are some of the key points to highlight from each research group.
1. The Bigger Picture: present what you learn from the experts you meet and from reading about therapeutic horticulture.
2. Case Studies:present business plans and the physical set up of similar initiatives to show how they work.
Delving deeper into the case of Bristol-based initiative “The Propogation Place” at “St Werburghs City Farm”:
3. Customer Research:present what you learn from talking to potential stakeholders through a focus group and/or an interview format.
4. Client Interview and Site Visit:find out about the physical space, what are the restrictions, immovable things, assets etc.
Our very talented “in-house” designer developed this to depict some key aspects from our research about The Walled Garden at Mells.
So…having taken our various paths to our next stop-off point: “Research Presentation”, we regrouped, refuelled and rested, ready to embark on the next steps of our journey.
With a few spare minutes, we also put together our short “Top Tips for Fundraising” video – check it out on the Edventure facebook page!
We’ve been joined by our 13th team of Edventure Start-Up Students. They’re sharing their edventure here…
By Emma Trefzer Waters
What is this Start-Up project
The Walled Garden at Mells is a small ancient walled garden in the heart of Mells village, Somerset, three miles from Frome. Set in an acre of grounds, the garden is split between a plant nursery and a pretty rambling herbaceous garden with a cafe. The cafe sells cakes and pizza and is open between March and October every year. The plant nursery specialises in cottage garden perennials with a focus on bee and insect friendly plants.
… is to create a community plant nursery propagating and selling
perennial plants to fund a program of initiatives, events and workshops that
alleviate the health and well-being effects of loneliness, whether as a result
of social, economic, geographic or generational isolation. This will include
gardening based activities and events for the elderly to improve physical
well-being and provide opportunities to socialize and connect; vocational and
experiential learning for young adults, especially those with disabilities to
improve their mental and physical wellbeing as well as their employability and
participation in society; an outdoor learning environment for young children so
that intergenerational learning can take place.…
Three, Two, One … (Edventure 13 launched with a) … BLAST OFF !!
The first week was primarily dedicated to getting to know each other individually and forming as a team, meeting people from the local community in Frome, getting clear on the challenge brief as a team, setting individual goals and intentions for what we want to learn and a take away from the programme and sharing what skills, qualities, resources and interests we are bringing to the group!
At the heart of the week we were set our first team challenge: to plan, organise and deliver a community evening dinner event. Around sharing home-made soup (made by one team group) at the Walled Garden in Mells, locals were invited to come and meet the team with the hope that many would be interested in supporting our project idea in some way, either through volunteering their time and skills, through donating personal resources, offering useful networks and contacts, making suggestions and insights based around their interpretations of the project vision etc.
The “Community Building Phase”
We introduced ourselves by going
around in a circle saying our name, where we had come from and what had led us
to making the decision to be here.
We then paired-up and did an ice-breaker exercise where we answered questions on the other person, such as what their favourite film is, what their hobbies are etc. without actually asking them, so essentially guessing the answers to these questions based on our initial impressions of the other person. It was a very humorous way to get to know each other!
We then did a team-building exercise called the “lava river”, which involved getting the whole group to the other side of the building in single-file with the instruction that we had to do so without touching the floor (lava) at any point whilst transporting four full cups of water to the destination, getting a “unicorn” to the destination with two people having to be holding it at all times, leading a blind-folded member of the group and two mute members of the group to the destination (also without them touching the floor) and passing around a large courgette which had to be held by all group members. Once finally at the entrance to the “cave” destination, after losing many to the scorching hot molten lava beneath us (meaning those who fell in had to go to the back of the line), each group member could only enter by first having to answer a unique “password question” and squeezing through a hula-hoop ring without any body parts touching it. It was a great way to break the ice and get us to work as a cohesive team early on. It was lots of fun too!
After the tea break we dedicated
time to co-creating a team “manifesto” which was pinned up on the team pin
board and which will be used as a reference and guide to refer back to
throughout the process.
In the afternoon we all went to the Walled Garden at Mells to meet our “client” Samantha who, very kindly, provided the group with delicious pizza for lunch, baked in the Mells Garden café pizza oven. We spent time listening to her vision and expectations for the project, reading over the project brief in more detail and walking around the gardens to get more of a “ feel “ for the space (i.e. what is already established and what areas need improvement and redevelopment).
At the end of the day, some of
the team decided to walk back from Mells to Frome, about a 1.5 hour beautiful
walk through woodlands and meadows, alongside rivers and streams and past some
ancient buildings nestled in the undergrowth. It was a great bonding experience
for those who went on the little adventure and was thoroughly enjoyed by all!
Today’s check-in was done using “Dixit” cards. Each person chose a card to represent how they felt that morning and then shared it, going around in a circle, with the rest of the group. Following this, the team were
treated to a building tour at “The Wealsh Mill Hub” (where Edventure has its
“base”), and got to explore and understand more about how this co-working space
After the morning break, we did a team exercise called the “River of Life”. We were given 20 minutes to create a visual representation on paper of our individual life stories up until this point, emphasising the significant things that were formative in shaping our directions and paths and which were influential in shaping who we have become as people. We were given 2 minutes each, going around in a circle, to share our stories with the group. This “deep dive” into our personal biographies took a lot of vulnerability and courage for each of us but it, no doubt, helped us to build trusting, open, honest and transparent relationships with each other very early in the team formation process.
After Lunch we all headed up to the amazing “Rye Bakery” in Frome to hear a talk by a very well-known and very well connected and involved community member – Peter McFadden – who spoke about the history of Frome and how it came to be such a thriving community hub.
The morning was spent doing a group activity to practice the “consensus decision making model”. This became useful later on in the day with the process of forming and deciding on our ideas around the Edventure SOUP community event we were hosting in Mells that evening. During the intense “brainstorming” phase, facilitated by (the very courageous) team member Julia, we definitely went through the classic group process of ‘Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing’, which the Edventure facilitators told us very often happens in groups when they come together to collaborate on a task or project.
Following this, we split off into separate groups for the rest of the day leading up to the evening event (divided into a shopping and soup cooking group / project presentation group / set-up, communication, information-gathering group).
Despite the on and off rain, the SOUP event that evening at the Mells Walled garden was a great success! We had about 20 people turn up from the local community. They were given a presentation about the project vision, a garden tour, a choice of 3 delicious home-made soups and an opportunity to give their feedback , ideas , suggestions and opinions about the project idea in a creative and interactive way!
Getting used to morning check-ins forming an integral part of the daily Edventure culture,
the morning kicked off with sharing reflections on the day before, what we felt
worked well and what didn’t go so well at the community SOUP event. The “Forming
– Storming – Norming – Performing” model helped the group, now with hindsight,
to get an understanding on what was happening in the group the day before.
Following this, we set our personal intentions and goals for our time at Edventure, writing them down on a piece of card and “posting” it into a collective “goals” envelope (which is now pinned on our big “project pin board” for us to go back to, so we can remind ourselves and each other of the “bigger” reason we are doing this). The Edventure facilitators highlighted that the key to learning how to be an engaged and ‘active learner’, to getting the most out of the experience, is by setting SMART (specific, measurable, achieveable, relevant, time-bound) GOALS.
We spent the later part of the morning sitting outside
the Edventure hub on the grass and pairing – up to identify our personal
skills, qualities, networks and resources that we are individually bringing to
The afternoon was spent delegating individual roles for next week such as who would take on the responsibility of being the “team wellbeing facilitator”, the “team project facilitator”, the “process documenter” (blog writer), the “team space fairy” (keeping our learning and working environment clean and tidy) – amongst many others.
Finally, we were treated to a visit and talk by Cassie, a previous Edventure Start-up programme participant who went on to being employed by Edventure and continuing to run the “Make Shed” initiative! She shared her “survival tips” on how best to get through the roller-coaster Start-up project process and how to maximise this unique 10 week opportunity!
What the team said about their personal achievements in Week
“This week I allowed myself to be really vulnerable with a new group of people, and let myself see them too. I accepted and embraced the triggers and decided to work with them towards the greater goal.”
“I set myself quite a specific goal, to build upon my practical garden design skills so I can challenge myself and gain professional experience of combining and creating and credible design solutions”.
“My personal achievements this week include finding my feet in a new and alien place; overcoming my instinct to run away when the course got too intense; and reaching my fundraising target”.
“I managed not to rub people up the wrong way”.
One achievement that I took away from week one is that I feel like I’ve made a new “tribe” of friends which has been formed, in my view, in two main ways:
1. Through “diving deep” into our own personal stories and biographies and having the courage to be vulnerable in sharing them with one another
2. Through working together as a team to rise to the challenge of organising and delivering a community event in a very short space of time – and it being, overall, a good success !
“Making new friends for this week”.
“A personal achievement… Keeping my head under pressure! Also, a reflection, feedback to self: I should have sent everyone out of the room to have a 15 minute break and get themselves tea/coffee. That would have given me a chance to think through how to approach the session without everyone else around. Lesson learned!”
“This week I have achieved meeting lots of excellent new people”.
“I managed to be on time (or even early!) and I managed to have breakfast”
“I learned trust the process and to generally just ‘let it be’ more”
“My experience with Edventure continues to ripple through my life. I am thankful to making some great friends there that helped me find my home in Bristol. I am grateful for all the skills I gained while working with this vibrant community project; which undoubtedly opened up the opportunity into my current role.
I am working with a crisis support charity that tackles homelessness, food security and food poverty. I began by volunteering for their support centres that distribute surplus/waste food to the clients. Over a year later I suggested opening up a community growing project on an allotment they had been offered. Since July 2018, I have established two productive food growing sites, a dedicated team of volunteers from across the city, weekly drop in sessions at both sites, regular open events and corporate volunteering days with groups such as Bristol Poverty Institute and Pukka herbs…
…As part of the Edventure alumni I was gifted a place on the MOE Foundation Coaching course, I feel exceptionally lucky to now be a certified coach! I cannot express enough gratitude to Edventure in helping me get to where I am today, I hope in the future to be able to return the infinite love and support!
The first UK Community Fridge that Edventure set up over 3 years ago in partnership with Frome Town Council is now saving a whopping 90.000 foot items a year from landfill. The new impact report is telling a very inspiring story about carbon savings, help for people in poverty, and a tangible community spirit. Well done to all the volunteers who are running it now.
Edventure: Frome have opened applications for our flagship Edventure Start-Up Course. The course is well-known internationally in the social enterprise sector and has attracted participants from as far afield as Vietnam, Switzerland and USA – besides of course Frome and surrounding towns.
If you’re aged 18-35 and up for a challenge, it might be just right for you. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve finished studying at University or dropped out of college, whether you are 18 or 35 years old, whether you are unemployed or want to make a career change.
The course will run part-time for 10 weeks from 2nd September, and includes a 3-day residential trip. It’s a free opportunity for young adults (aged 18-35) to work together as part of a team to actually start-up a community enterprise.
Amelia Parisian, Edventure’s Programmes Lead says, “There’s nothing quite like the feeling of making something happen in such a short space of time with a group of people you’ve never met before. Start-Up offers daily opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and achieve things that you never thought possible.”
The most recent team are responsible for creating MAKE:SHED – a weekly group meeting on Thursday evenings based on the Men’s Shed – but for young people to work individually or collectively for themselves and our community.
Charlie Whinton, part of the MAKESHED Start-Up team says, “This Start-Up is a dynamic adventure – a lesson from start to finish. If you’re interested in rich, experiential learning, speak to Edventure!”
Start-Up is not like anything you may have done at school – and we are seeking team members who up for a challenge, who learn best by doing and who want to make ideas happen.
Are you are…
interested in starting a business or social enterprise
keen to work within the community sector
wanting to develop leadership and facilitation skills
up for trying new things and making something positive happen.
Our second week with the ‘SHED’ start up team was the Discovery phase.
The weeks brief was to eventually present the findings of primary, secondary and case study research. We were handed multiple bags of research tools as well as meeting with some aptly brilliant minds.
The working team taking on case study research met with the ever cool Patrick Abrahams. Patrick is the founder of the Frome men’s SHED as well as the affable host of the ‘SHED Happens’ radio show on Frome FM. Not only did we collect the nuts and bolts of how to structure a business plan for such a project, we also discovered that Patrick himself is an invaluable library of knowledge.
At the same time, the secondary research team were engaged with the ingenious Jenny Hartnoll of Health Connections Mendip. As service lead at HCM, Jenny has helped provide a framework of person centered care. She is connecting groups, services and organisations which promote health and well being to people that need them most. The HCM alongside the Mendip Symphony project have reduced unplanned hospital admissions by 30% by means of social prescription.
We were also introduced to design thinking processes and market research tools by the excellent Edventure managing director, Johannes Moeller. His detailed presentation style feeds the academic mind and wills a creative, pragmatic direction.
Michael Matania of Tough Cookie delivered us a mindfulness and meditation workshop . The message taken from the workshop was that everyone is susceptible to negative emotional behavioral patterns. We were introduced to some practical ways to develop our own resilience. Driving
The meme illustrates how reactive behavior limits our opportunities to live enriched lives.
We will always have adverse conditions that challenge us. How we respond to them and what we learn creates greater awareness and an opportunity to grow.
Altogether, some great discoveries to take away from the week.
A story by Cassie, a member of Edventure’s 12th Start – Up team.
A team of 9 students are working on a challenge to start a SHED equivalent for young adults. This new Edventure initiative will be a weekly event for young adults focused on productivity and creativity.
Sitting in the ‘thoughtbox’ at 9 o’clock, we wait to see who else will arrive to complete our team. Who knows what everyone else is thinking, but for me, meeting new people can be a real anxiety trigger.
A chronic health condition has meant that I have been unable to work for a number of years. With my symptoms recently improving, l’m on a journey to rebuild my confidence and preparing to return to what I love – working in the community and making a difference – it’s a mixture of nerves and excitement.
Luckily I’ve been here before, two weeks ago. I completed the ‘MAKE’ course at Edventure. This time I have an idea of what to expect. Its amazing how much less nervous I feel just these few weeks later.
The team at Edventure and at the Welshmill hub provide fertile ground for personal growth and a sense of community support which is infectious. Having previously worked in roles that made me passionate about working towards a more inclusive society, finding ways to create social equity, being here I’m reminded of what is possible when people get the right support at the right moment in their lives – I feel re-energized – back in touch with what drives me as a person. I feel inspired.
Our course leader, Amelia, will undoubtedly use her facilitation wizardry to bring the team together, enabling us to grow as individuals.
I know two of the other team members too; Leah and Lucinda were also on the most recent ‘MAKE’ course with me. The experience of learning new skills together whilst developing products to bring to market has built a friendships of a depth you wouldn’t expect in a little over a month. We have laughed and cried together.
Six more people arrive by 9:15 to make up the team of nine – we each share a little snipppet of why we’re here and are almost immediately thrown into our first challenge.
It involves blindfolds, water, a unicorn and a hula hoop… The ice is broken.
Wednesday morning continued our getting to know each other and we started to learn more about effective teamwork. Thrown in at the deep end, we prepared for ‘Edventure Soup’. Five hours to organise how to present the project to around forty people. All hungry to know whats going on. All hungry to share thoughts and ideas and soup!
Diversity within the team was immediately and evidently advantageous as we broke off into working groups – although nerve-wracking for a lot of us, it was a beautiful experience to feel the community start to come together in support of the project…. What an experience.
Thursday was a chance for us to reflect on an intense few days – laying the foundations of trust required to quickly form a productive team.
In review of what we put together in one morning, having only met the day before, our eyes were opened to how much can be achieved when a group of motivated and passionate people come together to make something happen. If we can make that happen the day after meeting, imagine what we can achieve in 10 weeks.
As we sat in the dappled shade of the trees, we set our own personal goals for our time on the course. It was a much needed moment of shared calm and quiet. We returned to the Hub and each shared a goal so as to be able to support each other in working towards them. We closed the day by sharing a little more of our personal stories. I leave feeling privileged to be part of a diverse team brought together by a common goal.
And that was it… the first week was over and our journey had begun.
I hope you’ll join us and follow as we work together to create a ‘SHED’ for young adults in Frome. We are ready for the challenge.
So, let me briefly introduce the team (bearing in mind I only met some of them two days ago of course!):
Rosie is another previous ‘MAKE’ student (last year) and an Artist. She is pursuing her dream of making a living from her art – I’ve met her around the Hub and she came along and supported us during our course – that’s the kind of community that exists here.
Chloe has come to Frome especially for this course, she is living with a host family during the course (arranged with support of Edventure). She brings a calming presence and sense of serenity to the group and is choosing her own path towards a meaningful career.
George lives in Frome, is a professional Forager and within the team already, a lifter of spirits and a creator of smiles and laughter
Charlie is staying in Frome for the course. He was in Iceland the week before we began ‘just’ climbing a Volcano. He embodies a sense of unhurried calm and modesty.
Felix has recently moved to Frome from Ghana – he is a bundle of positive energy with infectious enthusiasm for learning.
Leah also lives in Frome. She worked as a chef, is a talented maker and is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. Nothing will stop this woman when she is on a mission.
Beth has come all the way from America to attend this course – she has an interest in community building and alternative education. She is witty and bright.
Lucinda – another powerhouse of a woman. Mother, artist and blessed with an aptitude for creative and original thinking that I could only dream of.
I could wax lyrical about these people all day long and I’ve only known most of them for three days.
And then there’s Cassie – that’s me. I took on the task of documenting our first week. For the duration of the course, one of us will be documenting our journey, no doubt in increasingly creative and surprising ways…