Monday, 24 February 2014

Sixth Week - Our Volunteer Experiences 18.2.14

Welcome back!

Week 6 has been a week of finishing off and catching up for our Cultivatees. We tied up some loose ends regarding VIOs and volunteer roles, and we also spent some time reflecting on our volunteer experience so far.

All of the volunteers have now had at least one 'live' volunteer experience - either at one of the Creative Communities events, like this one, or at the Spectra Parade. As part of their qualification they will have to think about a number of reflective questions about their experiences of volunteering, and then answer them for their portfolios.

Anne and Almas put thoughts to paper about their volunteering experiences

Ok, I admit, I was deliberately annoying Nicole with the camera ;)

Now that the group have had a chance to think about what they've learnt, what they've enjoyed and what they feel they could improve on, they're in the perfect position to develop their skills even further at one of the next volunteering events, happening March 1st and March 15th.

We also asked the Cultivate team to think about ways in which the course had made an impact on them, and how it had informed their future volunteering goals. Some of their ideas and thoughts are pictured below.

Each Cultivatee is going from strength to strength, and has already done a lot of volunteering - and we're only half way through the course! From this point on they will begin to take on more responsibility in their volunteer roles, and will also have to do a lot of thinking about their own skills and motivations, and also about what comes next. 

Next week is "making week," where the team will get stuck in and hands on to prepare for the next Creative Communities family event, see you then!

Fifth Week - Preparing for Woodside 11.2.14

In week 5 the team looked more closely at different types of organisations that involve volunteers, and thought about the different roles a volunteer might perform within these organisations.

We learnt that voluntary, statutory and private companies all involve volunteers in their work, and we created a definition of each type of organisation by group discussion.

Each group member then had the chance to add their own thoughts to the 'big sheet' for future reference, and to present their findings about VIOs and volunteer roles in their handmade journals.

Later, the group turned to focus on preparing for the Woodside pop up event. Lead Artist Kevin and Creative Communities head honcho, Margaret, had given the team the go ahead to run their own activities at the pop up, which would run alongside Kevin's main activity. They agreed to adapt the active listening activity from the previous week, as they felt this was a good way of leading participants into the main clay making activity. They decided on drawing and printing activities too, which would also help participants get their juices flowing before they came to designing clay. The team then spent the afternoon collecting and organising materials, ready for the following Saturday.

The team discuss possible activities
Alice looked out lots of patterned wall papers which can be used for printing onto clay

Nicole and Jade found the printing supplies
And these guys prepared the collaging/drawing activity

This week we also asked the team what they felt they'd learnt so far on the course. Here's a cloud of key words from their answers:

Cool trick huh?! See you next week :) 

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Fourth Week - The Map Activity 4.2.14

Welcome back :)

This week the Cultivatees were introduced to the next part of the Creative Communities programme, which will be in the community of  Woodside and led by ceramicist Kevin Andew Morris

Kevin came in to talk to the group about this ideas for the project, and about the Woodside pop up event which will be on February 15th. He explained that his main focus will be on helping the community make clay tiles, and that the volunteers would be welcome to support him to do this. Excitingly, this pop up event there is also the chance for the Cultivate group to design and deliver their own activities, which will run alongside Kevin's and give the community a better quality experience as well as giving our trainees valuable artistic and voluntary experience.

An example of one of the activities Kevin suggests using - it's called active listening and involves having to pay very close attention to your partner and then depicting what they've just told you!

Week 4 was also the first 'assessment' week, and Mandy came in to talk to the group about how this would work. The assessors will be coming in at regular intervals throughout teaching, to look at candidate's portfolios and tick off any outcomes they've achieved. It sounds a bit formal and scary, but to avoid making this too stressful we cracked open some biscuits!

There's never a dull moment with Cultivate, so while the assessors did their thing the group began to find out about different types of Volunteer Involving Organisations - or VIOs as they're known in the industry. They were introduced to each of the three different types of VIO, and then did the infamous Cultivate Mapping Activity.

Nicole tries to work out where her label belongs.

Anne was full of ideas and Jade got stuck right in!

Sarah looks confident!

Alice and Sam are getting the hang of it

Linsay explains using her usual teaching techniques of silly voices and odd gestures ;)

And the map begins to fill up full of all different kinds of VIOs!

We were missing a few faces this week due to other commitments, but our group of younger ladies were present at a rather special event which also happened this week. Spectra, Aberdeen's first Festival of Light, has been happening throughout the city over the last few days, and the girls all volunteered to help with the Reclaim The Night parade. There were some very stressful balloon-related troubles, but I heard the girls all performed amazingly, and we are very proud of them! Pics to follow as soon as I can find some and well done girls!!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Special Post - Seaton Family Event 1.2.14

Hello! I told you we'd be back very soon!

We have a special blog today, full of lovely pictures right from the front lines! Today was the Seaton Family Event - a chance for all those families who've been involved in the Creative Communities project in Seaton over the last two weeks to come along and do even more art. Our volunteers were out in force to support the community and to build their own skills, and what a job they did! Check the photos below for an idea of the activities on offer, and to see our fantastic volunteers get their hands dirty.

Jade fills our heart.

Happy thoughts :)

Sarah spent ages working her artistic voluntary magic on this family. Well done Sarah!

Sam and Alice get stuck in too!

Almas teaching Linsay the art of tiny origami hearts

Anne leading some participants in the pyrography. Go you Anne!

Plenty o' punters!

One happy family!
And finally, here's a picture of the team's pyrography in action - making #seatonsmile !

I looooooove it!
See you all next week!