Sunday, 30 September 2012

A wheely good idea - spare a minute!

With no plans yesterday I decided it would be a good opportunity to explore a part of Derbyshire I didn’t know. Having only lived in Derby for just over two years, there are plenty of areas I still haven’t visited and don’t know much about.  So with pin in hand, eyes closed, standing over a map (okay, actually just a quick search on the internet – but the old way sounds much more adventurous) the place of choice was Melbourne.  No, I wasn’t hopping on a plane to the other side of the world.  There really is a place just a few miles out of Derby called Melbourne.  After a lovely hike through the woods amidst the beautiful autumnal leaves and conkers galore, we came across this and it made me smile:

As part of Melbourne Festival, artist Sally Lemsford created ‘Can you spare a minute of your time please?’, a piece to show that volunteering happens everyday, everywhere, between people on the street.  I wholeheartedly agree that volunteering does not have to be organised and structured, and I know from working with vInspired before that the outdated image of volunteering as a formal, weekly commitment in a charity shop can still deter young people from getting involved.     

Simple acts of kindness that the people of Melbourne did for each other were recorded and added to the clock, each representing a minute spared for the benefit of others.  ‘Tom drew me a map’, ‘Sharon peeled an unripe banana’ and ‘Ann directed me to a cafe’ are almost effortless tasks that took just a minute.  But that minute spared could have made someone’s day or helped them more than you or I may realise.           

Team v Derby City needs people aged 16 – 25 to give as little or as much time as they want to help run campaigns in Derby, tackling important social issues, and changing our community for the better.  Volunteering for Team v Derby City won’t be formal or strict, and it definitely won’t be boring! Any time you can give will make a difference.  Like the people of Melbourne, we want to prove that society isn’t ‘broken’ and Derby is full of young people willing to spare a minute (or more!) to do something good.     

Can you spare a minute?  Get in touch!  


Twitter:  @TeamvDerbyCity 

Saturday, 29 September 2012

The power of volunteering

This summer I was very lucky to get a job working on one of the most exciting events in the East Midlands as part of the London 2012 cultural olympiad.  Joining the stage management crew, I was involved in the three outdoor shows which took place in Loughborough, Northampton and Derby.  The show itself remained the same at each location but the volunteer participants were from the areas we performed in respectively, meaning there was a real sense of community amongst the cast.    

Games Time was a colourful choreographed battle with incredible costumes, performed by people of all ages (from individuals to dance schools and community groups), with giant video projections, pyrotechnics, and the best fireworks displays I have ever seen. 

The main reason I was offered the position was because of my experience volunteering.  When I was in my final year of secondary school I did a week’s work experience at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod – an annual festival of international music and dance in North Wales.  After a shaky start (running around the field in the pouring rain, wearing uncomfortable shoes and lugging a silly amount of chairs here, there and everywhere) things picked up and I enjoyed the week.  So much that I went back.  For the next seven years.  Committing one week per year to being a stage manager of a small outdoor stage gave me a fantastic understanding of working on outdoor performance, communication and people skills, organisation, problem solving and smiling in the face of adversity (mostly weather-related!).  Without this experience I would never have been considered for the role on Games Time and I would have missed out on an incredible opportunity. 

Volunteering can be whatever you want it to be.  Do something you love – I’ve always been interested in the arts so that’s what I put my time and effort into.  And eventually it paid off.  It certainly doesn’t guarantee a job, but there’s no doubt that the skills I gained, the people I met and the experiences I had combined to give me a good chance of being taken seriously as a candidate for this type of work.  

I’ll never forget the goosebumps I felt watching the final Games Time fireworks in front of over 16,000 people as I thought about the hard work everyone – the volunteer participants, the professional artistic team and crew had put in.  Seeing people from all walks of life come together, giving their time to weeks of rehearsals to create an exciting free event for the people of their community was truly magical.  
For me, that’s the power of volunteering.  And if Team v Derby City can achieve anything like a small scale version of this sense of community cohesion then I will be a very happy volunteer. 
 (Photo credits – my Dad)

Friday, 28 September 2012

The countdown begins!

In just two weeks the 100 plus army of Team v leaders from all over England will get together for the first residential with vInspired  

That's when we'll discover the theme for our first campaign so I'm really excited!

Last year Team v tackled food poverty, loneliness and isolation in older people, and literacy for young children.  I have no doubt that the issues we build our campaigns around this year will be just as relevant and powerful, and I can't wait to get started. 

I need a team of enthusiastic 16-25 year olds to join me in the Team v Derby City revolution!  You'll be involved in every step of the process, from planning the campaign to delivering it, which means you'll gain fantastic skills and experience to put on your CV and you'll meet some lovely people who all want to do something good in our local community. 

If you're interested, get in touch: 

Twitter:   @TeamvDerbyCity 

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The man on the train

"It's volunteering"


"So you won't get paid for it" 

"Yep, that's right"

"And you're going to Leeds... just for the interview" 


"Wow, that's dedication.  Not many people would do that.  Especially your age."

On the train heading to my interview for Team v, a man in his late thirties struck up conversation.  As much as I like spontaneous bouts of train talk with a stranger, that was not the time.  Feeling nervous about the interview, I was hoping to enjoy a peaceful, relaxing journey, keeping myself to myself - not face twenty questions before I had even entered the interview room.  When we got onto where I was going and why though, I couldn't resist boring him with the details because of my excitement.  His reaction (as seen in the above conversation) reminded me that not everyone gets it, which is why organisations such as vInspired and programmes like Team v are so important. 

I've been volunteering on long and short term opportunities almost non-stop since I was eleven years old, so I was let in on the secret from an early age.  You know, the secret... that volunteering is good for the mind, body and soul (and not forgetting the CV).  If you didn't already know this, you're in the right place to be enlightened.  If you are lucky enough to have already been bitten by the volunteering bug, then you should definitely stick around too! 

Team v is a network of over 100 volunteers (aged 18-25) who want to change things for the better.  It's a programme run by  vInspired, the youth-led organisation that aims to inspire a new generation of volunteers (aged 14-25).  Team v leaders across England will recruit other young volunteers to help them plan, organise and deliver three social action projects to make a difference in their communities.  

So how about we prove the man on the train wrong?  As Tom Jones wisely said, 'It's not unusual' at all - young people across the country are volunteering their time for causes they believe in and Team v are set to deliver three amazing campaigns and show the world what we can do when we put our minds to it and are given the right support and guidance. 

There are perks too, of course.  Meet new people, learn new skills, do something good for your community and have fun...all at the same time! All you have to do is commit some of your time (as little or as much as you want) to help make Team v Derby City's campaigns come to life.

If this sounds right up your street, or you'd like to know more - get in touch today! 

Twitter:  @TeamvDerbyCity

Thank you for taking the time to read this, if you know anyone aged 16-25 living in Derby please take a minute to share it with them.

I can't wait to hear from you! 

Lucy - Team v Leader for Derby City

Team v - Changing the world...One campaign at a time

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Team v Taster

The first campaign for Team v last year was tackling food poverty.  

Watch this video to see the amazing results and to find out more about Team v.

The first campaign for Team v 2012-2013 will be announced in under three weeks and I know it will be as important and inspiring as last year's... get involved with Team v Derby City now to help make a real difference in our community. 

Twitter:  @TeamvDerbyCity

Monday, 24 September 2012

Team v Derby City is go!

Hello and welcome to the blog for Team v Derby City

My name is Lucy and I'm looking for people aged 16 to 25 living in Derby to help me make a real difference in our community.  As a Team v Leader for 2012-2013 I'm part of a network of over 100 young volunteers across England selected by vinspired to design and deliver three social action projects to tackle important issues that affect people living in Derby.  
But I can't do it alone!! 

In just 3 weeks time our first campaign theme will be announced and I need a team of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers to help me with every step of the process.  You can give as little or as much time as you want and in return you'll make new friends, learn new skills, and do something good for your community. (And of course there will be cake along the way!)

I'll post with more details soon, but for now please get in touch if you'd like to find out more or have any questions: 


Follow us on Twitter:  @TeamvDerbyCity

Find us on Facebook:

Together, we can change the world - one campaign at a time