With August bank Holiday just gone, School and University returns on the horizon, I find myself looking back over the last 6 months and at what we have achieved.
Our summer started back in April and we kicked off with a Nerf War down the woods. Its the second year we have done this and its growing fantastically. This year we managed to get 32 people, young and old, running around the woods for 3 hours! A brilliant way to spend a soggy Sunday in Cornwall.
Our next project came to an end around the same time.
This was our Snickets Crowdfunder campaign that helped to get books to children. We managed to raise enough to set up a small library of free books in a youth hub and to stock it with books. We are working on a book swap later this year to replenish stock and keep the interest up in reading.
We have been involved with Erasmus + on two occasions this summer. A trip to Braga in Portugal to learn more about Youth Exchanges and then in August we took part in a Youth Exchange to Italy where we took 4 young people out to meet wit h30 others from across Europe for a week of fun, games and learning adventures.
Our Erasmus + Project, Youth Work in the Digital Age is fast approaching and if you want to take part in it then you need to act now.
The project is listed on Salto Youth website where you can find out more and submit your application. The dead line for applying is the 15th Sept so be quick! Places are limited.
The event will take place at the world famous Eden Project in Cornwall and we will be staying on site at the YHS / Eden.
All food accommodation and travel will be provided within our guidelines. This really is the best place in Cornwall for the project. We have Crowdfunder uk to come along and run a Crowdfunding session and for 7 days you will be amazed with what we have planned for you.
Apply here ---> https://www.salto-youth.net/tools/european-training-calendar/training/youth-work-in-the-digital-age.5878/
Its not often i get nervous but I am today and you know what ?
Today is the start of a new Youth Group in Bodmin and I hope the start of something great.
I have been working on this over the last 12 months and tonight it all starts.
I have spent weeks preparing sessions, I have been marketing the group to bring people in and I have found some really great people to work with delivering this project.
The unknowns are making me a little nervous though.. How many will turn up? Will they engage as I hope they will? How will they cope with the ` non formal education` approach? Is this what they really want? So many questions and I hope some of the answers will be found tonight.
The need for something like this in our town is so apparent. The youth and the town seem at different ends of the scale and by tackling that in some small way it will go to benefit the community as a whole.
The journey to get to this point have been going for some while now.
I first applied for funding back in November 2015 and I managed to get it at the start of August 2016. This came from UNLTD who believe in what we are doing. Positive change in the Community.
The funding does not provide salary for me or the people who are involved with the project but who knows, some day the hard work, sleepless nights and all the worry that goes with this will pay off.
If you would like more info on UNLTD and possible funding options for any projects you are working on, then give me a shout and i will see if i can help.
If your young and stuck on what to do on a Friday evening then come along. You just might enjoy it!
So last week we had the chance to take part in a Youth Exchange in Monastero S. Vincenzo - Bassano Romano, Italy. A 16th century monastery about 60 miles north of Rome and set around the lakes.
Although it was a rushed project for us to take part in, i managed to find 4 eager youths to take part and for them it was the first experience of Erasmus+ and all it has to offer.
Here is what they had to say about it...
Luke Brown - 20 - Student at Falmouth University Cornwall,
This summer I participated in an Erasmus scheme, titled ‘Europe My Way’, I met some wonderful people and learned things about myself and the world around me. During our time in Italy, people from Greece, Portugal, Italy and the UK where encouraged to engage with each other through many different activities and focus sessions. We started off with ice breakers to get the group comfortable around each other, this to my surprise really did work as after just a few days I felt at home among the other participants, culture differences and language barriers became a fun and interesting part of everyday communication instead of a hindrance.
Every day is packed full of activities, this kept everyone busy and engaged. The breaks allowed for regular visits to the cafe where you can try an array of gelato flavours and drink small cups of strong coffee in the sun.
This trip has really helped my understanding of other cultures by allowing me to interact and converse with people that live by different customs and beliefs to my own. I also found it incredibly interesting to hear what people have to say on important issues happening across the globe, it helped to give a wider perspective on issues that are often portrayed in a very narrow fashion through the media. If another opportunity comes around I will definitely be encouraging my younger brother to participate as I feel this is an invaluable opportunity and If anyone is reading this and considering going, just go! You have nothing to lose, carpe diem.
Suki Fisher - 20 - Student at Falmouth University Cornwall,
It was a great experience and better than I had expected, the place was beautiful but the people I met there were the best part, everyone was so friendly and open minded with the shared intention of making new friends and learning about one another. I enjoyed hearing everybody's views about different issues in the world and comparing traditions and differences in etiquette from our own countries. I wish that more people were aware of these opportunities with hate crime becoming a growing problem in the UK I think it's more important than ever for people to meet and learn about different people and cultures.
Ford Neal- Fagan, 16 , student, london
Out of the blue i received a text from my friends dad asking if i wanted to go to Italy for a week , no details were mentioned but i was defiantly up for a week abroad . I then found out that expenses were mostly covered and that it was a youth exchange , i was sceptical at first because i had never been on a course like this - but i went along with it anyway as i though i week in Italy couldn’t possibly be a bad experience
I had no idea what we would be getting up to or who i would be spending my time with , i was slightly concerned i would have a week of awkward silences and smiles but that could not of been further from the truth !! I immediately got on well with the rest of the english people when we met at the air port , we were laughing and joking about the week to come . We began the week by getting to know each other and i was surprised by how easily i made new friends . The week was full of fun team building activities and activities designed to challenge our ways of thinking - i really liked these as they forced us to form strong relationships with each other !!
Over the course of the week i met so many amazing people and was having lots of fun every day - weather we were making a bridge to cross the floor of fire , or franticly rushing to catch a train back from our crazy day out in Rome . The whole experience exceeded my expectations and is up there with the best weeks of my life , great people , great weather , great food , what more could you want from a holiday . I am really happy that i was lucky enough to be part of a Erasmus youth exchange and i would strongly recommend it to anyone that has the chance !!
Jake Morley van Beelders, 16, student, London
As the day drew to an end, my best friend Ford and I sat in his room thinking about how we were going to procrastinate the rest of the holiday away. Suddenly, a beep from an IPhone echoed across the room that unbeknownst to us would change our summers for the better.
Being asked to go to a foreign country to do a youth exchange 5 days before it actually happens is enough to make any average person abrasive. But there was something enticing about the prospects of what appeared to be a free holiday, without knowing what we'd be doing in Bassano Romano we agreed to renew our passports and head off into the Gatwick jungle. A day before and without knowing much of what we were going to be doing we began to ask more and more questions. Letting our city life personas manifest and asking questions like 'Will there be Wi-Fi?'. We then discovered that we would be living with people from; Greece, Portugal, Italy and obviously the UK.
We would be engaging in team-building activities and having discussions about Europe. Initially, we were quite skeptical about whether or not we'd enjoy this being the sullen London teenagers that we are.
However, by the end of our adventure that took us from the bracchiano lake to the colosseum. We were very much satisfied by the experience that we had. The people we met are some of the most wonderful people I've ever spoken to. The food we ate was lovely although I'm sure everyone will agree the various adaptations of pasta got rather tedious after a few days. The activities whilst sometimes annoying in their agenda of making the kids and young adults view the world through subjective rose tinted lenses were impressively thought-provoking at times. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and had a great time in Bassano Romano, I'd like to say thank you to to all of team UK (Luke, Suki, Ford and John) for a great week with some great discussion. Especially thank you to John for bringing it all into place and letting us tag along. _Jake Morley Van Beelders London
So there you have it. This is exactly what Erasmus+ is all about.
Breaking down borders, youth and mobility.
We managed to take Cornwall to Italy and now have 30+ young people interested in coming here to visit our magical land.
We had a fantastic time and really want to do it again.
One small way in which we all felt connected from the UK was that Jake, although he lives in London, His Granny was actually the Mayoress of Bodmin! A quick records check on our return confirmed this and made our whole experience just that little bit more special...
The hosts, Antonella from Gruppo Pax organization were perfect and one day i hope to be able to return the kindness shown.
WE need you !!
Later in August we will be starting up a Youth Group in Bodmin. This will be aimed at mainly 13 -18 year olds and will be unlike anything that is available in the region so far.
Its main aims are to help the youth in our community shine. To identify and produce projects and events run by the youth and for the wider community.
We believe that there are some brilliant, talented young people in our town, some know this and some talents are more hidden. We hope to bring them out into the spotlight and help them shine.
We will be working with local companies, the local community and people of all ages. The projects will be diverse and entertaining, some serious and beneficial and some just for fun.
So.. What do we need ??
Well, for a start, we need young people who want to engage in something positive, to improve life skills and to gain better employment chances for the future.
We do have the potential to start off with some projects to work on and to manage. I assure you, these are great fun, full of learning and a brilliant way to start this group going.
That`s not all though...
We are also looking for a little help for you...
Yes you sat in your chair reading this... We need a couple of adults to help out. This would be mainly 1 night a week when you can spare, maybe help on the projects to guide the youth. If you want a more involved role then that could possibly be sorted.
What we are looking for is someone just like you. You dont need experience, you don`t need to be DBS checked as we can sort this for you and you don`t need to be qualified. If you can juggle it would be a bonus.
We have been lucky enough to find a little funding to help us start a new project. The funding has come through UNLTD and its aimed at start up project to help get things off the ground. It will cover the rents required, insurance, small equipment and a few other things. Like many pots of funding, salary is sadly missing again but it is something we are working towards.
Our blog is designed to keep you up to date on Cultivate Cornwall news and all the different projects we are working on.