So to run these projects we realised we were going to need help, professional help - and yes I do mean a psychiatrist, as well as media professionals. So Mirjam put an advertisement in to The Guardian – within a few weeks we had almost 25 people interested. This was really exciting that people wanted to be a part of the projects and surprising how many people wanted to help – don’t you just love the power of media?!
So we invited them into Salmon to come look around, meet the young people and after the visit to see if they still wanted to volunteer. Not that our young people would send them running, lol! Luckily they all wanted to be involved still. Every individual volunteer is bringing something different. From one girl who recently graduated from Yale studying film to a graphic designer/photographer working in an art gallery, to a journalist. It’s amazing that we’re going to have such skilled and experienced people. It’s not often that I get to meet people like this so I am taking advantage of the situation and draining as much information as possible out of them to develop myself.
One of the volunteers, Sarah, will be supporting me during the projects, which I am really excited about as I know I have so much to learn from her personally and professionally. I can see already that she is going to be my rock throughout the projects. It’s great that I am getting the chance to talk with people that I wouldn’t usually talk with and great to have a change from the usual crowd I would interact with.
So finally we all got to meet with the volunteers, it was great to have them all in one room. The meeting was basically giving an overview of the projects. It was good as everyone was slightly clearer about the objective of the projects and gave an opportunity to all share ideas. But unfortunately most of the volunteers can’t start yet as they are awaiting their CRB checks.
What I feel I have learnt over the past few weeks is that everybody has a skill or something to learn from. It could be that one conversation or that one bit of information to help or even trigger an idea. It’s about using everyone that’s around you, in a positive way of course, to get to where you need to be. This will be something I incorporate into my youth work as well, encouraging young people to be open and excited to meet new people. Giving the young people the confidence to step out of their usual social environment and try new things.