~estimated reading time 3 minutes~
Three weeks down, one to go… The realisation that the NCS journey is almost over was evident on Friday when the good-byes were being said. But as this is a positive page, and I have been given the nickname Mr Brightside, I will of course focus on all the good things that have happened this week, saving the sentimental speeches for another day!
Team Chando’s (The Cheekiest of Cheeky Nando’s) were in their home town, Coalville, and were based at The Christ Church for the first week of the Social Action Project (SAP). And so, Monday morning, the daunting task of finding, agreeing, planning and executing a community project during the 2 weeks of SAP was staring us in the face. With nothing more than a few business based workshops from the University as training and a bit of local knowledge of the area, we attacked the week with the aim of leaving a Chando’s sized imprint on the local community. Cutting to the chase, after a wander around Coalville Park to check what could be done there, conducting a survey of the public and a few votes from the team, we decided on two projects! Project 1: Renovate the church cemetery. Project 2: Put on an event for the whole community – An Evening Through The Ages; a fun filled night for all ages, with the aim to bring the community together whilst enjoying some bingo, quizzes, rock’n’roll and more.
Amidst multiple brain storms, the peg challenge*, delegating job roles, phone calls for event venues, spider’s nests, plenty of weed pulling, staged mentor fall outs, Coalville Conga lines, lots of sweets, jet wash pursuits, cake sales and general “Chando’s, Top Lad Bants” came my unexpected highlight of the week / NCS Magic Moment (3 blogs in and I still don’t know what to call it). It was Wednesday afternoon nearing the end of the first day of renovation. The team had been working hard since 9:00am, transforming the jungle like cemetery into something which half resembled a pleasant resting place for “the residents” (some of which had been resting since 1800s!); when a lady wondered into the church grounds, wheeling a suitcase behind her and took a seat on the bench. Without thinking too much about it, I acknowledged her and carried on doing whatever it was I was doing. A few minutes had passed when two of the Chando’s girls came to tell me she was looking for somewhere to stay… she was homeless.