10 August 2012
This Friday was the first day of giving away the furniture. I had five groups coming in so the day was very hectic. Catz and Gavin came in to help and we started by giving many chairs and tables to a group called Gender Matters.
Next to come along were people from Hanover & Wolverhampton Project. They took plenty of chairs and tables for their group which caters for families of those who have origins in Hanover, Jamaica. They also do work in agriculture and we may undertake a project together in the future.
Next was Denise from Eubotic, a centre for yoga and relaxation that she was currently getting started.
After that, the Wednesfield Aces Cycle Speedway group, who had suffered an arson attack, came along and we were able to donate a fridge, office furniture, plastic chairs and more.
Lastly on the Friday, we were visited by a team from CEIA (Community Empowerment in Action), that undertakes its functions by running youth projects, health projects, early intervention projects and offers legal advice on generalist advice areas. They had a very large premises so were happy to get their hands on as much as they could! All groups that came along were of course very grateful, as were staff members of Highfields who were glad to know that so much of the school’s resources were going to good causes.
So that was day one! I’m pretty much fully booked up for next week, where I currently have eleven more groups coming plus three of those from today who couldn’t take everything in their vans in one go. At the end of the day I was exhausted but happy at being able to help out.
15 August 2012
There are a couple of events on the agenda to talk about in this post. Firstly, continuing from the previous page, I have been back in the school this week to carry on giving out furniture. We’ve been working against the clock and some parts of the school have been closed off now as the demolition procedure gets under way. However, many community groups have requested furniture so I have done my best to fulfill their requests. I’ve had 9 visits in the two days that I’ve been there and have 2 or 3 still to come on Friday. The reason I want to write about it is because of the range of groups that I’ve met and helped. I mentioned some on the last page but this week I have received the Wolverhampton Central Youth Theatre, Zion City Tabernacle (a church group), Base 25 (youth development), Codsall Village Hall, Whitmore Reans Welfare Centre, CEIA have been back, who are a Muslim-led group, the Gujurati Association and Midland Heart (housing association).
So, some religious groups, some with different cultural backgrounds and a whole host of others. Our Own Future is non-religious but is happy not just to let them all have furniture but to welcome them all, irrespective of who or what they represent. The response I have had has been completely positive because they have all seen that we’ve tried to help them as much as we can. I feel this is an important point to make as I, for one, do not like to categorise people or label them in any way. Everyone who has been to the school are simply people who are also trying to benefit others and many of them have invited me to visit them, which I fully intend to do.
The other item to mention is the shop that I plan to open this year. I don’t want to go on about it too much here as there is a separate page about it. It will be a community shop that is to act as an outlet for local people who want to sell the things they make. I want to encourage skills that people have and try to engender a culture of creativity, but for a full description, please read the page.
4 Sept 2012
The Highfields School project has come to a close now. We managed to make a significant difference to many community groups and there is something in the pipeline to work with at least one of them but I’ll let you know about that once something has been set up officially.
The focus right now is on the shop. I have had 7 people confirm they would like to be involved but I am waiting for a few more, simply to ensure that it will have enough stock to open. I will be working on making things myself and am pleased to be able to rekindle my creative side with a goal in mind.
Upcoming events in Wolverhampton include a crafts fair at the Wulfrun Hall on the 15th, where I hope to make some more contacts for the shop. This is being organised by Little Hippo, a team that promotes local skills and has a shop in Shifnal, a nearby town. Following that, on the 21st and 22nd, MakeShift will be taking place at the Lighthouse Cinema, which is all about regenerating the city and discussing and developing ideas that were voted for through their website.
Signing off on the last day of my thirties. 🙂