Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Group Coordinator's story: Zsolt Kulcsar - Madhurst Festival 2017

Zsolt, first right, and the team of volunteers, building the Clown for the festival
Madhurst volunteer project – August 2017

The Madhurst project was the fourth volunteer project that I have co-ordinated in the UK and I can certainly say that it was one of the most unique projects I have seen so far. Madhurst is a project for those who have a creative mind and love to create something unforgettable.

Madhurst is a festival which lasts for almost two weeks and takes place every year in August. It is based half an hour away from Chichester in lovely historical village called Midhurst. Every year the international volunteers have to create a float for the final day of this festival. Besides the creation of the float they also help with various tasks like setting up venue for the visitors of the festival.

During the first two days the volunteers had to help with a conservation project in the South Downs national park. Due to this the first two days were quite physical and tiring, however it was the perfect team building exercise as we all got to know each other pretty well before we began working on the float together. As we were so close to the nature we also went on some long walks in the area which further helped the team to bond during the first couple of days of the project. Nevertheless, by the end of the conservation project the volunteers were fairly exhausted so this was the perfect time to have a day off.

After the initial conservation project (and the well deserved break) the volunteers began to build the float which was the main aim of this project and took almost a week to complete. It was amazing to see how invested the volunteers were in this task. On the first day after we went back to the accommodation they spent at least another hour brainstorming their ideas about the float. They liked this part of the project to the extent that they even stayed longer every day in order to work-out every little detail on the clown perfectly. The fact that the host was very flexible on the working hours made it even easier for the team to work on their own speed.

Concordia Volunteers parading with the amazing Clown they designed and built

It was also lovely to see how well the volunteers got along with the locals. It was clear to the volunteers that their work was appreciated by the people of Midhurst. Although we did get quite exhausted by the end of the two weeks, I really enjoyed co-ordinating this group and I think it was a good decision to come back and co-ordinate another project for Concordia this year. What made this project so perfect was the fact that every volunteer was able to contribute towards the float by bringing their own ideas and sharing it with the team. This also reflected in the free time that we spent together which made the project even better.

(Zsolt Kulcsar, Concordia Group Coordinator, Madhurst, Summer 2018)

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