I love to learn and 2016 has taught me a lot.
Through social media the world decided that 2016 was a bad bad year and I simply have to disagree. This year has not been too bad at all.
I sit here on New Year`s eve after saying goodbye to a house full of people who came for lunch. We have been doing this for over 10 years now and it is something I really look forward to. Good friends, good food and good conversation. I must admit though, I am a bit selfish though as I do like it when they filter themselves away and disappear by 8pm leaving me with my family to clear away and spend the rest of the night and new year together.
This week, the week between Christmas and New Year, is always one of reflection on the year past. I didn’t set any resolutions at the start of the year but I did have a sort of wish list of what I wanted to accomplish. Some I managed and some got waylaid and may get done in 2017.
I would consider myself as generally rather active and apart from a little set back at the end of the year I think that I didn’t do too bad at all. I managed a few trips away, Italy and Portugal with one of the highlights leading a group of young people on a youth exchange to Rome.
Another highlight spilled over from 2015 and through a meeting on an Erasmus project. That meeting led us as a small team to apply for funding to bring 30 youth workers to Cornwall for 8 days on a training course that we had designed. We managed to secure the funding, hire Eden Project facilities and accommodation and then deliver the course in November. For me, this was a real achievement and one that will stay with me for a very long time.
I have been working with youth groups this year and feel very lucky for this. Through UNltd I managed to secure a little funding to help start a new youth group and although slow to start, 2017 I hope to see it flourish. The chance to work with a youth group at Kinsman Estate has been brilliant for me to help them develop, have some great fun and for me to learn from them. To say they are ace is an understatement. Together, they managed to do over 125 hours on community work and organising in the community. I feel honoured to have been given the chance to help them do this.
No Public cinemas organised this year but a fun day creating Wacky Races in support of the Carnival was well attended and with some brilliant people coming forward to volunteer we managed to make some children have a great fun time. Some went on to enter the Carnival and won prizes with their creations! Looks like we will just have to do this again next year I think.
My time at University has been … Well, to be honest, I don’t know ? I managed to pass the 2nd year and entered into the final year with a great positive attitude but then halfway through the first term I got very sick with a spell in hospital that took me out for the rest of the year. I am due to go back in 2017 but I actually feel quite flat about it and not overly excited. Maybe things will change when I get there, who knows, I think it may be down to me just wanting to get on and do some work now. If I find this is the case then I might just have to change a few things in the New Year.
Eden needs to be mentioned for influencing this year and my future. The chance to take part in Big Lunch Extras in the April bootcamp simply changed my life. The people I met there will stay with me doe a very long time and my `Eden Moment` actually changed my life through giving me courage to pursue my dreams. 6 months after the bootcamp and the chance to help with another Big Lunch Extra project at a Share Fair in Milton Keynes was another real highlight of the year.
As I sit here reflecting on the past year, it soon becomes apparent that so much has happened, I had the chance to spend it with some wonderful people and I accomplished so much more than I set out to do throughout the year. I changed as a person I think for the better, I found direction and purpose and I leave 2016 much the wiser.
I have managed to miss out so many other things that have happened this year including,
Yarfield and Community Organisers, The big dig - and little one with the disabled Group, The sleep over after graduation with the YRC, Dr Bike, Lantern making workshops, first aid courses, Golowan festival, metal detecting, Nerf Wars in the woods with 36 big kids, pirate fun days and so so much more.
Personal highlights include actually stopping smoking and celebrating 21 years sober !! lowlights include 1.75 ltrs of fluid taken from my lung in an operation in October.
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