Monday, November 24, 2008

Monica's final report

Concordia CONCUK15 & CONCUK23 Playschemes (Fairplay 1 and 2) - A final blog from our lovely MTV Monica Burns who was in the UK for 6 months over the summer of 2008 from the USA

From the end of July through the end of August, two Concordia playscheme projects ran at the YMCA Fairthorne Manor. For the first project, lasting three weeks, volunteers came from France, Spain, Mexico, Turkey, Czech Republic, Germany, Russia, Korea and Italy.

For the second project, two weeks long, volunteers came from Italy, Japan, Korea, Turkey, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, and Finland. In fact, two were past volunteers on last year’s playscheme project here at the YMCA.

During the summer break from school, the YMCA held daycamps for hundreds of kids throughout the region. The volunteers assisted the summer staff with the supervision of kids ranging in age from four to sixteen. They helped kids put on their harnesses and helmets for the aerial runway, covered the kids with soap and water for the huge waterslides down the front lawn, and played games between activity sessions. Many of the volunteers were able to participate in activities alongside the kids, such as canoeing, kayaking, archery, and the bouncy pillow, much to the delight of the kids they were supervising. Some vols even assisted the nursery with looking after children between 4 mos. and 6 years of age.

When they were done having fun with the daycamp kids, the volunteers had their own fun, playing games in the lounge, going for a swim in the river, lazing in the sun… Volunteers spent their spare time off-site in Brighton, Winchester, Bournemouth, and Portsmouth.

The presence of the Concordia volunteers was an impactful one. When their work was done, the volunteers received fond farewells from the kids they looked after. And when the projects were ended, the volunteers, who developed close friendships over the past few weeks, said their tearful goodbyes. Luckily, we have Facebook to keep us united