Volunteering & The Spirit of Freedom

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Pathways was responsible for the organisation, management and delivery of a Workshop on Volunteering held in June 2015 in Bishop’s Castle.

Participants are from

Riga, Latvia,

Kaunas, Lithuania

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Lublin, Poland

Spilinga (Calabria), Italy

The following is taken from the information provided prior to the Workshop.

This page will be gradually updated with information distributed to the project partners.

leaflet front cover

leaflet page 2

page 3 agenda

leflt p4 part

Introduction front


intro 3

intro 3

intro 4

Pwys info 1

pwys 2 pics

Pathways members are deeply committed to the art and promotion of volunteering – and find a considerable number of ways in which to (voluntarily) express their delight

BP:3T

The Poet Podmore Proclaims Profoundly

BE:TW

Bernard Briefs Briskly

J & S 1

Jacqui & Sandra spend much of their lives being attacked unexpectedly by aggressive trolls

Jac & Sandra

Whately Manchester

Richard, cricketing hero and legend receives awards at Old Trafford (the ‘other’, cricketing, Old Trafford)

Val:Burlington

Valerie is only ever truly comfortable when she can ‘step-out’ for the evening and join High Society in manly attire.

Those of you wishing to see a replica of Valerie should pop-along to Burlington Arcade where there are always two similarly dressed gentleman ready to provide you every assistance.

Steve and Dave

Whilst Dave ‘Dewi Twmp’ Vaughan leads Steve on the renowned ancient traditional Welsh dance:

Y Siffrwd Cymysgydd Concrid

D & S 2

“The Concrete Mixer Shuffle”

The Journey message

mayor letter

Pre-Workshop preparation activities>

All participants were sent the following messages which asked them to perform some simple tasks.

Message One:

Pathways desires to provide as appropriate & effective Workshop as is possible.

  • The Workshop will be an ‘active’ & ‘experiential’ process.
  • In essence Pathways is providing time, space, & experiences based on the information supplied by partners 

The Success of the Workshop depends on the enthusiasm and engagement of the partners and the manner in which participants use the space, time and experiences provided.

  • There are three separate preparatory actions for partners to complete (this message contains Activity One – below)
  • The activities are designed to assist the Workshop process by asking individuals and groups to engage in ‘background research and analysis of the project aims, purposes & actions.
        • Please send results of the preparatory work to this address by Friday 5th June

ACTIVITY ONE:

We suggest that each participant spends a few minutes on this task.

Once completed the result should be recorded retained carefully
Partner groups may wish to share the results and create a group result.
This is easier for some groups than for other.

For example: It would be very difficult for Pathways to produce a group result as the members are physically widely separated.

Humans are social animals.
We create groups & in the modern professionalised world most people belong to or are employed by an ‘organsiation’ 


TASK 

Describe your existing organisation by creating a picture.

Is it animal, plant or physical structure?

Draw the picture, shape or image.

Create a similar picture of what you would like it to be.

Please send results (pictures) to Pathways by Friday 5th June.
The pictures will be used during the Workshop

………………………………………………

Results:

PREPARATORY ACTIVITIES by the team of the University of Latvia to the workshop of the V-Code project. June 2015.

PREPARATORY ACTIVITY 1

TASK: Describe your existing organisation by creating a Picture! Is it animal, plant or physical structure? Draw the picture, shape or image! Create a similar picture of what you would like it to be!

 

We find our organisation an organic physical structure. Despite its relative hugeness, it is still being able to adapt and change; to be well and highly recognized by inside members and guests.

The picture shows its ability to be so wide and so specific at the same time.

It is one picture after all! But it does consist of many pictures. Still it is united!

We feel sure to say that the place we are now is quite the right place that will lead us where we want to be!

Latvia pic

………………………………………….

ImmagineSimboloICRE

…………………………………………………………………….

My picture for the workshop is a basket full of ingredients for a delicious picnic.
The organization for wich I work has a lot of expertise and good conditions to work fine. I enjoy it as a good meal!
H1

I would not like to change. Only I would like to have more time to give each volunteer sufficiently attentive. (picture 2)

H2

………………………………………………………

Now:

organisation_now

In future?

organisation_would_like_it_to_be

………………………………………………………………..

Now:

organization (by Marija Sabaliauskiene)

In future?

organization 2 (by Marija Sabaliauskiene)


1st pic with ants shows how I see my organization. I’m working in NGO for Youth. I’m a part of ”ants” community-team – I’m volunteers coordinator.
This pic shows that we work all together in our team – our vision is – A young person prepared for independent living.
Unfortunately some people (in general) don’t see a meaning why we all need to get together and work for youth. Same as opinion of most of people – ants are small animals they don’t like..

1st pic-ants

2nd pic – surikata: cute and nice community working together. Surikata are nice, small, funny animals. This community works together all the time, they take care ofeach other, their life looks easy 🙂

2nd pic- surikata

……………………………………………………..

Now

DSC_0005

Future?

DSC_0006

Now

Our organisatie now

Future

Our organisation in the future

tree

10999519_10155421770520565_7069969664315132274_n

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Pre-Workshop

Activity Two

In the ‘Introduction’ leaflet already circulated key issues were raised (for discussion)
Resources
Leadership
Planning & Performance (including monitoring)

Please produce a brief group report on each of those aspects:

For this project:

  1. What volunteering action is being considered/prepared?


2. What resources are available?

What resources will need to be accessed?

How many (inc. percentage) will be volunteers


3. What style of leadership will be appropriate for managing the process?


4. What planning will be required & for how long?

How will the process be monitored & how will the process adjust to the results of the monitoring process?


Please prepare the answers before the Workshop & have them ready for a brief (low-tech) presentation to the other partners

…………………………………………………….

This activity did not require any response before the Workshop – but two partners submitted a response & a member of another made some pertinent comments

PREPARATORY ACTIVITIES by the team of the University of Latvia to the workshop of the V-Code project. June 2015.

PREPARATORY ACTIVITY 2

Please produce a brief group report on the following questions:

Q1. WHAT VOLUNTEERING ACTION IS BEING CONSIDERED/PREPARED?

A1:   Presentation of Latvian volunteering organizations and dissemination of their volunteering initiatives; implementation of local (Latvian) volunteering initiative.

Q2. WHAT RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE?

A2: Contacts of Latvian volunteering organisations, network of experienced volunteers, experience in the organisation of events and project with the involvement of volunteers. Other resources worth to mention are project`s financial resources, University infrastructure to organize and host public events.

Q2.1. WHAT RESOURCES WILL NEED TO BE ACCESSED?

A2.1.:          Contacts with media, contacts of Latvian municipalities, accommodation for the events participants.

Q2.2. HOW MANY WILL BE VOLUNTEERS?

A2.2.: Estimated 25-50

Q3. WHAT STYLE OF LEADERSHIP WILL BE APPROPRIATE FOR MANAGING THE PROCESS?

A3: Democratic, Engaging, Flexible (adaptable)

Q4. WHAT PLANNING WILL BE REQUIRED & FOR HOW LONG?

A4: 1 month planning of the detailed content of the event, marketing planning and action planning.

Q4.1. HOW WILL THE PROCESS BE MONITORED & HOW WILL THE PROCESS ADJUST TO THE RESULTS OF THE MONITORING PROCESS?

A.4.1. Executive team will have regular face-to-face meetings and constant communication among then (emails, skype, phone). The team meeting agenda will include progress report according to the goals set earlier, tasks and planned operational activities.

……………………………………………….

ppt2

ppt3

PPT1

PPT5

…………………………………………………………………………

A comments:

A voluntary practice. Some considerations from Amsterdam.

Finding new volunteers is one thing but an other is how to thank them and specially how to bind them to your organization. Especially in a time in which active citizenship is stimulated, voluntary practice seems to experience more and more competition.

Food for thought:

  • How can you thank a multi formal group? Considering that volunteers can diver dramatically in age, class, education and reason to volunteer.
  • How to delimit your event when an organization spans different projects and targets?
  • When teaming up with different organizations in the event, how to prevent that we create an ambiance of fear for losing volunteers to other organizations?
  • How can we involve volunteers in planning the event? How can they play a role in activating others?

We were thinking of the theme Happiness. This connects to Jaap his theatre show.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

The Workshop preparations also also produced some documents designed to assist the overall process

1. A document about leadership and consensus decision making processes

Vlntrng Rflctns-Ldrshp-Cncnss

2. Results of a survey conducted amongst those involved in the whole process (not simply attendees at the Workshop)

Results Summary

3. Extracts of information relating to good practice

Volunteering- Good practice

…………………………………………………………..

The Workshop

impressions, notes

&

Decisions

The following are the notes produced at the end of the Workshop and set out, in simple summative terms & with an outline timetable, the intentions of each partner.

Lithuania:

Activity: 3 months student action with celebration

1. Meeting – share responsibilities – June

2. 2 weeks promotion

3. Present possibilities

4. Actual volunteering

5. Report back

6. Celebration December 5th

Netherlands

A single multi-agency ‘Thank You’ event for volunteers organised by all the voluntary agencies represented in the project

1. Meeting in July – which project?

2. July – Sept Collect volunteers and consider possibilities

3.  Limit number of meetings – use internet

4. September: issue invitations

5. November – event

Italy

Local Exhibition

1. Write project

2. September – public meeting, attract volunteers

3. Assign roles & responsibilities

4. Locate finance

5. November – start project (to last 12 months)

Latvia:

A conference presenting & analysing information about the volunteering process (distinct from the ‘Fair’ which will promote existing voluntary agencies)

July: context analysis, legal, financial etc

2. August: meeting counterparts, ngo-s, etc

3. September draft programme

4. Budget

5. Start promotional activity

6. Conference end of October

7. Publicity thereafter

Poland:

Activity: to become an Umbrella Agency encourage voluntary inititiatves

August: meetings, prepare offer, negotiate with officials

September: phase 2 implementation

Recruit volunteers

Initiatives in city (e.g. Litter collection)

End of year: budget

Evaluation – sustain activity

UK

Activity: A series of heritage related activities associated with rural communities.

July: Initial planning with Pathways and other representatives agreeing dates & resource requirements

August: confirm participants and number of events

September: advertising events

October – February: delivery period

………………………………………………………….

Workshop Activities

Day One

Arrivals:

Welshpool station & the first bi-lingual signs (we suspect that the arrow by ‘Ffordd Allan’ covers the face of Jaap!)

1 arrivals 1

2 arrivals 2

Dinner at the Boar’s Head

3 BH meal

with Stuart in charge

4 Stuart

Day Two

Our working venue was in the Bishop’s Castle Assembly Room

which just happens to part of a pub and brewery complex.

6 dy 1 arrvl

Henny created a collage which captures some of that context …..

Henny collge

and she kindly wrote:

I like to send you a picture (one of the many I created). I will never forget you and your colleagues because of the energie you have given. Thank you so much.
Wish you much fun at Pathways with many lovely projects and people to work with.
Jacqui began the session
6 start
which Bernard, as principle facilitator, managed and led
7 Bernard
and the results gradually accumulated
8 session
Organisational images
10 session M
11 session F
12 session LV
13 session PL
14 session
15 session pics
Non-verbal images – expressing through a Journey Stick, what is observed
16 J stck IT
17 Jstk LT
18 Jstk IT2
19 Jstk LV
From Poland – a tri-partite production
20 Jstk PL
And at the end of the day – a summary of the activities
21 day Smmry 1
21 day Smmry
After which the whole group travelled onto the local hills via Bishop’s Moat & the Ceri Ridgeway & walked alongside the rapidly decaying ancient Offa’s Dyke (in the background of the photo)
22 Off dyke
The evening meal was held in The Ganges restaurant
23 Ganges
after which a large number of the group headed down the hill to the Six Bells

Day Three

The day focused on gathering information about Bishop’s Castle, presenting the information & then producing a workable plan for the development of the project in the varied partner localities.

For some he day began at Broughton Farm, the oldest residence used by the Workshop – a C15th Hall House in the Welsh Style. Not obvious from the outside but internally a place of ancient wooden structure that represented a transitional architecture…. and was probably the residence of an important local ‘notable’.

A perfect location for two important Lithuanian University teachers

1 broughton

The groups explored every aspect of life and culture in Bishop’s Castle
2 BC
and some were intent on keeping friends at home ‘fully informed’
3 BC
Whilst other encountered, in the Town Hall, the ‘Town Crier’
4 BC
and explored the heritage centre – an important local resource
5 BC
After which all the groups prepared and then presented their findings
6 Rptng
7 rptng
8 rptng
9 rptng
10 rptng
11 rptng
12 rptng
13 Rptng
14 rptng
15 rptng
The whole Workshop programme concluded with a dinner at the Castle Hotel, attended by the Mayor, who presented certificates to all participants.
Before and after the meal guests were entertained by Benji Kirkpatrick presently a member of Bellowhead  & whose musical career began locally with Shropshire Bedlams in which several of those presenting the Workshop were involved as founder members (40 years ago!)
22 dn
23 dn
Bernard, one of those dancers maintains an interest in  folk art by creating, as he did during the evening, corn dollies 
24 brnd:dn
which were auctioned – an activity accompanied by a raffle, that raised money for the Mayor’s nominated Children’s  Charity. Over £50 was raised in the process.
25 crn dn

Extras

Passions:

The following pictures may be regarded as extra background to the Workshop.

However they are examples of the cultural background in which people have developed a wide range of activities none of which involve  personal financial gain.

Whilst they may be called in a formal manner, ‘voluntary activities’ the people who engage in these activities do not think in such terms.

They perform their tasks, accept the responsibilities that accompany the activities simply because they are free to engage in developing their passions – as in these two examples, – as community leaders or as preservers of heritage.

These voluntary activities cannot be manufactured, they grow organically, nurtured over many years (and often requiring a continual struggle against restrictive authority).

The spirit of freedom, manifest in voluntary action, requires &  encourages passion.

A Civic Event: Bishop’s Castle annual Mayor-Making.

Karen, who as mayor, welcomed everyone and presented the certificates was instituted into office in May. The pictures show her with the Town Clerk, Town Crier, Councillors and members of the public present as witnesses.
myr & clrk
Myr mk Full
myr mkn

A Private Passion that also supports the community

Alastair Evans, whose work is in the timber business – & is one of the largest local employers in Bishop’s Castle, developed an interest closely related to his rural family life & background.
It is an interest that is shared by many people locally & has created over many years a focus for hobbies and passions & social and economic benefit through community events such as Michaelmas Fair
16.1 shd
16 Shed
18 shed
19 shed
20 shed
21 shed
Passion – and the freedom to follow its lead, produces simple but lasting pleasure – as illustrated here by the Jolanta, the project coordinator and her Lithuanian team.
jol team2
17 shd
The project aims to develop such spirit in the months ahead.
………………………………..

Visit a Heritage & Volunteering Fair

located in the Grade II* listed and recently renovated Town Hall.

Bishop’s Castle Town Hall

TH_WINDOW1_500_768_80

The Heritage & Volunteering Fair

located in the Grade II* listed and recently renovated Town Hall. Up to 12 local heritage organisations will showcase what they do and promote the unique venues they care for. They will illustrate the work of their existing volunteers and publicise new opportunities and projects. The organisations will be encouraged to add interactive elements to their displays – such as objects to handle, quiz sheets and trails to follow.

On Sunday a Heritage Exhibition will be added in the Council Chamber, featuring aspects of the Town Hall’s 250 year history.

Event not suitable for children under the age of 8.

Opening Times

Saturday 12 September: 1000-1400

Sunday 13 September: 1400-1700

Access

Though fully accessible, the Town Hall is on a 1 in 6 hill, so the approach is difficult if using a wheelchair. There is a dropping off point adjacent to the basement east side entrance which gives access to the lift and 3 internal toilets, including one which is fully accessible. There are 2 public toilets on the opposite side of the building. Parking near the Town Hall is limited to 1 disabled parking space below the Town Hall and on street space as available. There are 2 car parks within 250 metres downhill and there are no on street parking restrictions.

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