Today is my last 'official' day at placement. Had my final meeting today, which went definatley went well.
I have grown and developed so much while here, both in my practice and personally. The saying 'learn something new everyday' has been very true while here, whether it was learning what a Forest Garden was, how to mix cement or just learning about a green lifestyle. It has been a great experience and I loved it.
This week is my last week here at Hyde Park Source, sad times! I have had a really good time here, I will definatley try to carry on volunteering.
We had another good session at Killingbeck, we are going to go to The Beck youth center next week as we want to also be working with the young people who go to the center.
Also we finally finished Wythers, we have picked the litter and painted the fences! (This point makes me happy).
As I promised here are photographs of what we have done over the past few weeks at Killingbeck, Rosebank Rangers and Wythers.
A quick update, I will edit this tomorrow and add photos when I have access to the photographs...
Killingbeck was a big success on Monday, every week we see to be attracting more children. We had three new young people, just as encouraging we also had a young person that we had least expected to attend to come. I got the chance to work with him on more of a one-to-one basis this week, which was good as we took apart pallets that were on the allotment site.
We also had a representative from the newspaper come and take some photographs of the young people to show the hard work that they have been doing since we have started.
On Tuesday we had some students from the University of Leeds, who are doing some research on how companies communicate with each other, come into our staff meeting. They told us we had a very good way of communicating with each other. Which is a good sign!
Yesterday, was also Rosebank Rangers. The young people were very hyper and unfocused. But that is okay, you have to expect that with children every now and again. We were able to reflect on it and we will work out how to adjust the session next week so that it is fun and enjoyable for the young people.
We had our quarterly social on Tuesday, which was good as people got to see what Hyde Park Source are up to. It was also a chance to introduce our NEW Volunteer Coordinator! Which is exciting.
As always we were at Killingbeck on Monday afternoon.We had at least twelve young people come, which is a big jump from six! It was a tiring afternoon, as some of the young people who came, had previous history with each other, so we had to work out how to manage that. However, it was a successful session, we were there an hour longer than normal, we managed to dig one of the raised beds up, had a fire on the go and the kids tried peppermint and honey tea - which most liked!
Also yesterday was Rosebank Rangers and what a nice sunny day it was. We were out on the Rosebank, trying to sort out the fruit bushes. It was nice to not have to worry about being cold and it went relatively well.
Today we also met a first year student who will be starting placement with us soon and shadowing me and what I do for a while. Then eventually she will take over the things I do, including the blog!
The interviews begin today for the job vacancy we have, I found it really interesting how the process works from advertising to meeting the applicants (I’m the person who answers the door today – it’s an important job!)
This week at Killingbeck was our first week actually on the allotment. Our older person holds an allotment on the plot, so we looked at hers and she told the young people what she has and what she has done on their. Also one of our young people’s dad also owns one of the plots on the site, so he told us as much he knew about that. Maybe it’s because I haven’t done much work in the past to do with gardening especially with young people, but it surprised me (in a good way) just how engaged the young people were in the session. They were very excited coming up with many ideas for the community plot that we are going to use
Also I never round to putting up the picture of one of the bird boxes that one of the teenagers at The Beck had spray painted, so here it is. (Click on it to make it bigger).
We had a Community Action Day on Saturday, where we litter picked, planted, made stools and graffiti walls. We had around 70 people come. There will be a fuller account of the Community Action Day in the next few days on the news page - so keep checking it!
Yesterday, we once again had Rosebank Rangers, we planted some left over plants from the Community Action Day, and we were able to be outside the whole session, as it’s lighter for longer! The Rangers also finished putting wood chip around the plants that were planted on Saturday. They worked very well together in this session. Getting on the best I've seen since I joined them.
Last week was a slower than usual here at Hyde Park Source, mainly due to it being half term, therefore we didn’t have our session at Killingbeck or Rosebank Rangers.
However, on Wednesday last week we had our second day at the Wythers, which is a project that Leeds Fed have asked us to do on some green space next to their houses. The area has been left and therefore overgrown, also it seems that people have used the area as somewhere to fly tip, the amount of rubbish there is there is ridiculous! The most random things we found amongst the beer cans and bottles were mattresses, motorised toys and mugs. It was a nice day so there were quite a few people who were walking past and briefly comment on what we were doing, with one resident coming out and making us a cup of tea. Another resident, who only moved in a few weeks ago came out and joined us, helping cut down the overgrowth and get rid of the rubbish.
This week however we have been straight back into everything, we had our Killingbeck session once again. It is really cool having four young people turn up and mix well with our older person, also the fact that the teenagers in the centre are okay with this. Furthermore, seeing inter-generational participation happening is so encouraging, as we see our allotment holder helping the younger people undertake the activities.
On Tuesday I attended a Leeds Community Organisers Partnership event where we heard about a few different initiatives that are going on in Leeds. Then we had discussions around a few different things it was very informative and interesting.
Yesterday, we went back to the Wythers, to finish cutting the overgrowth and get rid of the rubbish. This time we found a mattress, duvets, clothes, and carpets – enough for a full bedroom set! It is actually quite fascinating, some of the things we find.
I’m excited for this next half of my placement as there is going to be more projects soon, which I’m excited for.
Once again this has been a really long post, I will start updating more regularly with shorter posts and more pictures so those of you who read it, are not sat on this page for ages.
Last week was a very busy week, with lots of things going on!
On the Monday (17th) we once again had a session at Killingbeck. We had our usual allotment holder attend but we also had some Primary School children attend whose parents also have allotments. We built planters planters so everyone could take on back to their allotment or garden and use them.
Futhermore, now that we have been at The Beck consistently for a few weeks now, the young people who go are starting to talk to us more, a couple also spray painted the bird boxes that had been made previously. So overall it was a very fun and encouraging session.
I went along to help make a start at the Wythers project that we are undertaking - it was very cold, that we had to cut it short. Although, it turns out that if you look slightly young and your litter picking, people assume your doing community service!
The fact that I look quite young means that sometimes people don't realize that I am helping lead sessions. So I need to work on having more confidence and taking more of a lead when it comes to some of the sessions we deliver.
On Thursday and Friday, we had a mosaic workshop, learning how to use the tools, the idea being that once doing this we would be able to do this with young people in the future.
We learnt that it's not all about breaking the tiles and then finding ones that fit, but being efficient and effective with them. It turns out I'm pretty decent at cutting out a circle!
I went coppicing for the first time on Saturday. It took me a little while to get into it (mainly due to the cold) but once I was into it, I enjoyed it and learnt a lot about the are and the trees which was great!
And finally on Sunday, we had our Rosebank Rangers Community Day. We had five young people - one of those who regularly attends on a Wednesday. We made a habitat for small animals you can usually find on the Rosebank.
This is the start of my fifth week here - which means I'm halfway through my placement, I'm really enjoying myself and learning new things each day.
Before I came here, Hyde Park Source and this sort of organisation were unknown to me, especially the environment part. So I came here very out of my depth, but up for learning and experiencing new things and that I have!
I’ve been here about four weeks now and I’m well settled in and enjoying my time here. I am starting this blog to document what I am doing and reflecting while at HPS and the behind the scenes of the projects that we undertake here.
So far I’ve been involved with Rosebank Rangers, the after school club with Rosebank Primary School. It has been a learning curve for me, working with primary school children as I’m used to working with young people, aged 13 – 18. Therefore I have to change the way that I communicate with them and to not assume they will know certain things.
Also on Mondays we’ve been going to The Beck in Killingbeck with the allotment holders. So far we have made bird boxes and seed boxes. Our aim is to try and get some of the young people involved and have different generations mixing and working together and although last week we had a few young people look in, yet they decided not to participate and get involved in one of the other activities The Beck had to offer. It’s something we have to work out whether we want to alter our sessions to accommodate the young people or we leave it how it is for the allotment holder who attends.