Prince’s Trust: Day 53 (Friday 16th June 2017)

Hey everybody,

Finally, the last day of The Prince’s Trust Team Programme. What a 12 weeks it has been!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am knackered.

However, I am excited about the next thing which happens to be another programme called ‘Foot In The Door’. The launch was on Monday 19th June. Hopefully, it will help get me into the creative arts sector. Its definitely time for something new.

Whilst it’s been fun to do a daily blog (on the whole) for this, I think I’ll keep it simple and book-related whether that means writing balanced book reviews (with a slight hint of that sarcasm I mentionned in an earlier blog post), or giving you hints about my other bigger current writing project which you will have to wait for because it isn’t finished. Keep your eye out for some guest blogs as well. They’ll be appearing sooner than you think.

I’m looking forward to getting back to what I had on the back burner whilst I was on this course.

More than ever, I am determined to get a job and I will do whatever I can to get one with renewed vigour.

After having seen the last day though, I can categorically say that I wasn’t expecting to feel much emotion. I didn’t cry but it did feel bittersweet.

That’s all for now… until next time.

 

LexC

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Prince’s Trust: Day 52 (Thursday 15th June 2017)

Hey everybody,

The penultimate day began with showing family members my speech at the presentation. Later, I joined the rest of the team at one of the college’s, but got lost looking for them because I went to the wrong one. Whoops. When I arrived at the right one, I had to do the Maths and English exams again that we did right at the start.

I’ll be honest I was disappointed in the results as I could have done better. For those who want to know:

I scored 58% in the level 1 English.

I scored 80% in the level 1 Maths.

You might be thinking “Hang on a minute Lex, why are you disappointed in those results?”

These are the equivalents of GCSE’s. I got a B in both for my efforts (although don’t ask me about the maths one – I still haven’t figured that one out yet). I have an English honours degree, I can’t be getting 58% in situations like these. Looks like I’ll have to revise those english grammar rules all over again (in which case, I’m heading back to French class to relearn them all – yes, French class, because ladies and gents, that’s where I learnt all the english grammar rules). British schools either cannot be bothered to teach them or they simply don’t teach these grammar rules.

That’s all for now.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

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Prince’s Trust: Day 50 (Tuesday 13th June 2017); Day 51 (Wednesday 14th June 2017)

Hey everybody,

As both days concern the same thing, I thought it would be best if I wrote about them on the same blog post.

On Tuesday, we spent the entire day rehearsing our speeches and a practicing a run-through. We were all really struggling to get through them and I wanted to help out my fellow teammates, but for reasons which I cannot disclose I was unable to.

On Wednesday, today we start at 3pm. By the time the group get together most have lost interest but they keep going despite it. The Team go to the ground to do another rehearsal but I had to have a break and stay relaxed. Why? I felt I’d have gone mad if I practiced anymore.

The night went well, although I realise now that I blabbed a bit too much about the ‘Before’ stuff than anything else. Everyone delivered their speeches really well, some better than others even though some asked to have us stood next to them for support. The nerves were still crippling in most of us – I hold my hand up and say I was one of them. I should have stuck to my guns and followed through with my plan to help the team irrespective of the consequences.

That’s all for now.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

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Prince’s Trust: Day 49 (Monday 12th June 2017)

Hey everybody,

Back again! I know you’re probably tired of me but I’ve finally got around to writing up the final week of the Prince’s Trust. There will be time for reflection but for now let’s just get on with it!?

On this day, we had two guest speakers (one from a bank and the other from a transport company) called Seb and Paul, who came in to talk to us about presentations. When we made our introductions of ourselves, we had to give Seb and Paul something we wanted to get out of the session and an interesting fact about ourselves. I’m not going to go into great detail about what was said because most of it is private and I don’t want to overstep the line. The desires, however, were pretty much all the same: confidence. Unfortunately, confidence is the only thing that as individuals we can give to ourselves. If that wasn’t the case, I’d have done all I could to give it to the rest of the Team.

We spent the session trying to sell each other a whiteboard marker or a dictionary. No, I didn’t get the dictionary otherwise it would have been a walk in the park. Perhaps that was a good thing – there’s nothing wrong with a challenge. Something to do to step out of our comfort zone. Obviously the exercise was as boring as, but if we could manage to sell either of these things then we could most likely be able to sell ourselves on our presentation night.

The concept of the exercise was not new to me like it was to the rest of the group. The idea of selling ourselves and our skills as a product has been highlighted to me long before I started Team programme. The most recent time being when we did our mock interviews a few weeks ago. The session itself highlighted to me just how much the team still needed help with their confidence long after Seb and Paul had gone.

This last week was going to be a tough but necessary gig.

That’s all for now.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

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Prince’s Trust: Day 47 (Thursday 8th June 2017); Day 48 (Friday 9th June 2017)

Hey everybody,

On the Wednesday evening, I sat down to properly write my speech as we didn’t have long. I’ll be honest I was nervous. My original idea was really bad – I’m not going to lie. With that being said I stuck to what I do best, tell stories. In my neck of the woods, it could mean one of two things: a) I tell fibs (they aren’t lies but near enough, I suppose) or  b) someone who actually tells stories. There are some on this Earth who could argue that I’m guilty of both counts – but let’s not go there. Another story for another time.

Thursday, we started planning our speeches for the Wednesday. I have my plan, but for the purposes of gaining our Prince’s Trust qualification I’ll have to write down the entire thing. In full.

It goes without saying that as well as our ‘Before’, ‘During’ and ‘After’ the course, it would be really good to include humour. In a sense, Team 125 has had a problem with my sense of humour – not many understood sarcasm. Especially dark dry sarcasm. Don’t believe me? There were so many awkward silences. So many misinterpreted bits of body language and mixed signals when I was either trying to be really cheeky or simply kind. At the time that I properly started writing my speech, I thought the humour wouldn’t be an issue but now I’m not so sure. I won’t adjust my sense of humour for anyone, it’s just become clearer than first thought; that not everyone gets it.

My main concern at the time was trying to fit in all I had to say within the time limit I had set myself.

That’s all for now.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

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Prince’s Trust: Day 46 (Wednesday 7th June 2017)

Hey everybody,

On this day, Team 125 went up to a place just on the outskirts of the city centre to help out with Animal Therapy. We spent the entire day outside and I ended up with lobster tan on my nose, but that’s a story for another time.

We were split up into small teams of two’s and threes and then Anji allocated animals to us to look after and introduce to the children. Don’t worry, we all had DBS checks (but they were more in depth).

I won’t go into details about where it was or the extent of what we had to do, purely out of respect for Anji and the people she works with.

We all managed to do our jobs correctly as I don’t recall Anji coming over to any of us at any one time, except the odd occasion that she came over for a chat. It was a great day and for the first time in a long time, my skin colour from a pathetic ghostly white to something slightly brown.

It marked a week until presentation night.

That’s all for now.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

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Prince’s Trust: Day 44 (Monday 5th June 2017); Day 45 (Tuesday 6th June 2017)

Hey everybody,

Yeah, I know. “Where have you been, Lex?” I’ve been away.

The last two weeks of The Prince’s Trust Team Programme were busy. Although I wasn’t expecting anything else, it did leave us all knackered.

But enough of the excuses. Let’s just get on with it, shall we?!

On this day, we were at a day care centre for cerebral palsy with Cerebral Palsy Midlands (CPM). You can find out more about it here on their website. They also have a Twitter page. They are definitely worth looking up especially as they are celebrating their 70th anniversary.

The manager of the care home, Sarah, asked me to write a blog post or two on our experience of the centre and to talk about the session we sat in on.

I’ll do both on this blog post.

I’ll start with the experience of helping out in the day care centre first:

The two days were an eye-opening experience. Having had no experience of meeting people with cerebral palsy, I had no idea what it would be like apart from knowing that I’d need a lot of patience. Whilst we were there, we met people who were exceptionally funny, kind and welcoming despite having CP. In fact, I can categorically say now that I forgot they had cerebral palsy for the time I was there.

Lots of patience, understanding, compassion and empathy is needed even as a visitor here as everyone has different learning speeds and different levels of understanding (this is often because of other disabilities that they may have). This was made apparent to those of us who sat in on the training sessions. Everything is tailored to the clients learning speeds rather than at a pace which would be much easier for the rest of us to keep up with.

On the Monday we spent the day in alternating groups, decorating cupcakes to help celebrate CPM’s 70th birthday, participating in art classes and sitting in on music sessions. Young people like us, get a bad rap based on ill-informed assumptions. It was great for us to show that we were in fact the complete opposite, by using teamwork to build rapport amongst us and the clients. Sarah told us that the clients at the day-care centre greatly appreciated our presence.

On Tuesday, a few of us sat in on a training course run by a company called ‘Care First’, who deliver lessons at the day-care centre much like everyone else might at school, college or university. In the meanwhile, the rest of the team painted and decorated jewellery boxes and later in the day took part in a quiz. It also happened to be the day when the day-care centre whose resources were stretched because they were short-staffed. That lunchtime Team 125 helped get the meals to the clients. Although it was only a small thing for Team 125 to do, I felt like we did something really great and it’s always nice to give something back to the community.

That’s all for now.

Speak soon,

 

LexC

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