Prince’s Trust: Day 16 (Wednesday 19th April 2017)

Hey everybody!

It’s a very short blog post from me today.

This morning we were doing folder work. I’m not going to go into detail about that because I don’t want to bore you.

This afternoon, some of us went to the jobs fair.

I’m going to be honest, I know I’ll never find the job I’ve always wanted at these places. Neither can I see myself having a job that I am not passionate about; it’s fair to say those advertised at the fair (engineer, scientists, sales managers, & managers) are just a handful. I have nothing against the jobs, they neither float my boat or fit my skillset. I’m sure some of you have read the scientific papers which have tested out these theories. There’s no greater evidence for my nerdy-scientific family to digest and reinforce the message. There will be no greater thrill for us all to enjoy when my hard work pays off and the dream turns to reality.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

x

 

Prince’s Trust: Day 15 (Tuesday 18th April 2017)

Hey everybody!

Hope you all had a great long weekend.

It’s back to the grindstone for Team 125 for the next three weeks.

It started today with our group pitch in a Dragon’s Den environment in a bid to secure funding and resources from one of our sponsors. Thank you very much to Wilmott Dixon for helping us out, it’s much appreciated.

I think the most important thing that the group took away from this morning’s experience was that it is imperative that we work together as a team, dedicating 100% of our time, effort and focus, and setting ourselves realistic targets rather than potentially over ambitious ones. Whilst there is nothing wrong with being ambitious and I’m all for proving the doubters wrong, it is more important to be realistic in terms of what we can achieve within our time frame. We have eight days, three rooms and twelve people with which to complete the project. One room is more manky than the other two and so we have decided to do all we can with the other two and then bring in someone else to de-mould and plaster before handing it over to the charities so they can move in.

So what jobs do I have to do from now until next Monday?

I have to find cake donations from companies to help with the fundraising event and furniture donations to be used by those who visit the charities. I’ve also put myself down for artwork duties.

No rest for the wicked, eh?

 

LexC

X

Prince’s Trust: Day 13 (Wednesday 12th April 2017); Day 14 (Thursday 13th April 2017) 

Hey everybody! 

Short blog posts concerning Wednesday and Thursday’s events. 

Wednesday 12th April 2017: 

Today we started planning for our pitch on Tuesday after our long Easter weekend. We spoke about the potential hazards of the project, the tasks we’ll need to do and the benefits of doing such a project to the community. I intend to write a future blog post with links to newspaper articles and news items on here where you can find out more about what we did. Out of respect for my Team Leaders and our team, I’ll ask them for their blessing/permission. 

Are we going to complete it? Of course we will. Everyone will have to be 100% committed to it 100% of the time to finish it on schedule. Providing everything goes well with the donations and the progress of the project, I can’t see any reason why we can’t. 

In the afternoon, Rob and Karen came from Counter Terrorism. In light of recent attacks, we discussed the reasons why someone might be drawn into dodgy groups. I voiced my concern about how close I lived in relation to the individual involved. These days, most of us don’t know who lives in our communities either because we’re too busy or for some other reason. We watched a twenty-minute film concerning this topic and dealing with extremists on both sides. I don’t subscribe to this way of thinking at all and neither do those that I know and love. The film was good but the people portrayed (apart from one) really irked me. 

Whilst it’s difficult to determine who looks like a terrorist or who looks like they’re about to cross the line, we have to look at their behaviour and the things that we could overhear. It’s good to be cautious and careful rather than fearful and panicking. Should my family, friends or local community ever be in danger, I would be the first to help. That’s a promise you can hold me to (yes, I am being serious Mum).

Thursday 13th April 2017: 

Today we spent the entire morning learning about First Aid in order to become fully qualified First Aiders.

As First-Aiders, there’s only one thing we are qualified to do and it’s to prevent the airway from getting blocked. We can administer CPR (30 chest compressions with flat palm of hand to centre of the chest, locked elbows and other hand for support – it’s a cardiovascular workout for us – followed by two rescue breaths; repeat until help arrives to takeover). The rescue breaths gives the individual who needs it up to 75% chance of surival. We cannot adminster drugs but we can apply dressings to wounds. If person has broken bones but are unconscious, the main focus is getting them breathing, then deal with the injury afterwards. Pregnant unconscious women must always be laid on their left in the recovery position because there is an artery which if applied pressure kills both mother and unborn child. We can prevent serious injury due to choking by administering back blows (not punches) and abdominal thrusts (flat part of a clenched fist placed just above belly button, other hand flat on clenched fist, get subject to bend over and then with hands around abdominals push hands into stomach and upwards) up to five times. As precaution with abdominal thrusts get them to hospital immediately afterwards to prevent infection or further internal damage. To give any injured party the best chance of survival, a First Aider’s main priority is to keep the airway clear. 

Now you know who to ask for help, if you see anybody in danger. 

I do hope I never have to administer First Aid, but in this day and age, you never know when you might need it. 

Right now, my priority is to see how far we can get with donations from companies to help with our Community Project. I’m not entirely sure how much I can tell you about the project for obvious reasons, but I’ve done my research and now I’m in for a hectic weekend. 

No chocolate overdoses for me then. 

Happy Easter everybody (to those of you who celebrate it)! Happy long weekend to everybody else and whatever it is you might be celebrating.

Speak to you on Tuesday after a long weekend of frying my own brain (hard work, in other words), 
LexC

X

Prince’s Trust: Day 12 (Tuesday 11th April 2017) 

Hey everybody,

Today we were working on our CVs either creating them from scratch or updating them. It’s been a month since I last did work on mine and it usually changes whenever I do any work experience. 

We were also updating our folders on ‘Teamwork’, ‘Community Projects’ and researching ‘Work Placements’ for the two weeks after we complete our Community Project. No rest for the wicked, eh? I prefer it like this at least there’s a really slim chance of getting bored or any type of thumb-twiddling activity going on. 

Tomorrow, as the team’s Accountant for the Community Project I’ll get my hands on the prices and start putting together a realistic budget. I’ve never felt this excited about crunching numbers since my IGCSE ‘B’ in Maths. No, it doesn’t bother me if it sounds geeky, but my amazing grandmother can solve mental arithmetic questions in her head before anyone can reach out for the nearest calculator or smartphone. Not so geeky now, is it? 

Speak soon,
LexC

X

Prince’s Trust: Day 11 (Monday 10th April 2017) 

Hey everybody! 

This morning a guy called Dan from Bristol came in to talk to us about drugs. 

You may or may not be surprised to find out that we’re all drug takers for one reason or another. Why?

Sugar is everywhere and is in everything. The cause of the rise in obesity and diabetes. Amongst health professionals it is considered far more dangerous than cocaine. Young people are far more likely to be addicted to sugar and it doesn’t help that it is so widely available. The trouble is we all have sugar in our diets and the problem is getting worse. 

Or what about caffeine, another stimulant which suppresses hunger and found in lethal doses in those energy drinks also popular with young people. 

I try to minimise interaction with sugar because of the crash I get from it. You don’t need to be a genius to work out what happens when I have a sugar crash. 

There are three groups of drugs: depressants (painkillers etc.), stimulants (caffeine etc.), and hallucinogenics (magic mushrooms etc.) Lots of these drugs have the same symptoms and side effects which in large quantities are lethal. 

The talk was instructive and informative.

This afternoon, we went to go and see where our project would be taking place, took messurements and wrote down a shopping list and I found out on social media that our fundraising event would be a cake sale. 

The team have also been lucky enough to have been granted a ‘Dragon’s Den’ day where we’ll be presenting our project to two potential sponsors. They have offered to step in and help out but like most things on this course I’m not at liberty to disclose that information. If we master the pitch we’ll have them sold. 

Speak soon, 
LexC

X

Prince’s Trust: Day 9 (Thursday 6th April 2017); Day 10 (Friday 7th April 2017)

Hey everybody,

Another short blog from me today.

If I had to sum up the day, I’d call it a learning experience. We went wrong so many times but in those moments we pulled together as a team and managed to make our way around the course. We finished close behind the team who had completed the course in just over three hours.

Below are some of the activities we did during ‘The Great Escape’:

  • crossing the river by plank bridge
  • climbing hills
  • climbing walls
  • Floating downstream by canoe – quite a few fell in. The rest of us faced the consequences – a wet muddy bum.
  • Rafting
  • Finding blue gems

The views from the top of the hills were breathtaking. If you’ve never been to Shropshire I highly recommend it. We stayed in Walcott Hall.

Afterwards we did ‘The Spider’s Web’ where the smallest of us went through the biggest holes at the top and the largest went through the holes at the bottom. It took us a while to finally work it out. We were only allowed 5 lives – we used up 3 in our final go.

Thursday night was focused on packing up our things and cleaning. We were to leave the place in similar condition to the way we found it or better. I mopped the floors.

By 1o:30am we had to have left the following morning. We arrived at our base at around 12:30 – 1pm, carried in the left over shopping and went to get our bus passes and go home. I was so happy to be home. The sun was shining and warm. Life was great but I spent that weekend trying to recover from the 13 hour days.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

x

Prince’s Trust: Day 8 (Wednesday 5th April 2017)

Hey everybody!

Just a short blog post about Wednesday from me. As Wednesdays go, it was relatively calm and the main focus was on each of us getting to know each other whilst on a walk.

It wasn’t just any old walk. It was a map reading walk involving solving riddles. I genuinely thought I would be rubbish at solving riddles. Turns out, that fact is completely untrue as demonstrated by me being the first to solve the first riddle: “What is brown, has a head, and a tail but has no legs” (grammar gurus bare with, I don’t like how it’s set out).

At first I threw out several potential answers including the most obvious: snake. The answer was a penny (GBP).

We ended up walking about 15km (around 10 miles for those of you who don’t understand kilometres) and a few of us needed a nanna-nap afterwards.

Pub quiz was the main activity for that evening to chill us out before thursday. I didn’t quite realise the extent to which I’d be so competitive. I almost lost grip of my manners (sorry Mum). We beat the other team at the quiz by 17 points.

It was Shaq’s 17th birthday and I sang “Happy Birthday” to him in English and then in French. We had a chocolate swiss roll to celebrate. If I met him on the street, I’m not sure I would have the guts to talk to him, but in this environment I realise that I was wrong to think that because he is a gentleman.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

x