Before our Leadership Award Holders begin their first and second years of sixth form, this is our final Summer of CAP article!
We are featuring Helen, who returned to Greenbank Community Church for her second placement, Will, who headed to the Hollowford Centre with Lindley Educational Trust, and Olivia who had her first ever placement at Ykids.
Helen Ajayi, who did her final placement this summer, returned to Greenbank Community Church in Cornwall. Helen ends her time as a current Leadership Award Holder this summer, and will become a Rank Fellow.
“During the first week of my placement I had the privilege of following the youth of the church to Creation Fest as a youth leader. I was extremely excited to go for two reasons: 1) Last year I spent some time with the youth and made lots of new friends and 2) As a Christian, I felt it was a perfect opportunity to spend time with God, especially as I was nervous with Results Day coming up. I arrived at Creation Fest on 8th August and my A Level results were due to be released on 18th August. As every other A Level student, I was super nervous and I felt it was essential that I get out of London! Being at Creation Fest in the week leading up to this dreadful day, I used this chance to forget about University and all my worries and focus on God. It was so great to be able to spend time with people who had such a passion for the Gospel. In addition to this, my favourite Gospel group Hillsong performed on the last day which was the absolute pinnacle.
I couldn’t have asked for a more loving and beautiful family to have spent both my placements with. From the very first day I arrived, I have been welcomed in. I am very grateful that I was able to complete my Community Action Placements here at Greenbank Community Church. It has been a blessing and I have no doubt that I will miss them all!”
Will is in the middle of his Leadership Award, going into his second year of Sixth Form in September. Will traveled to the Hollowford Centre in the Peak District.
“My experience here at Hollowford has been fantastic. I felt extremely optimistic but apprehensive prior to the placement as it is an area of the country I have never been to, however as I have found out over the time I have been here the people are just as lovely as the scenery. I say this because they have been extremely accepting and welcoming towards me, including the cleaners and cooks all the way up.
The children I have worked with have been great fun and definitely made my time a lot easier and worthwhile. This is because the schools I have predominately worked with on my placement have not been from very affluent areas and some of the youngsters did not have a lot. This touched me, and in particular in my second week there was a pupil called Thomas who didn’t have a lot. Before we went canoeing his teacher came up to me and asked for a pair of shoes, so I gave him a pair and then he came back and said they were no good despite the correct size so I asked him why they didn’t fit and he said there was a knot in the lace meaning he couldn’t tighten it as he didn’t know how to tie his shoe lace. So on the way to canoeing I spent 15 minutes with him teaching him how to tie his shoe lace and as a gift on my last day the school gave me a box of chocolates to say thank you!
Another way in which the children made it extremely worthwhile was because of the bond that I created with them which I never knew could be so strong after just 3 or 4 days with them. However, you do create a special bond which did was demonstrated every time I walked through the dining hall or the back corridor – it involved the kids shouting to me with my various nicknames that they has come up with for me making not only me feel special but I hope I did the same for them.
Overall, I have had a fantastic experience and I have had an extremely enjoyable time here at Hollowford. I must say I am sad to be leaving so thank you for the opportunity to both the staff here and Rank for organizing a fantastic and worthwhile placement.”
One of our newer Leadership Award Holders, Olivia, did her first ever placement with Ykids, who have been hosting CAP placement for many years.
My experience at Ykids has definitely been exactly that – an experience. Coming myself from an area classed as deprived with very little opportunities for young people, it was an almost familiar situation for me being in Bootle and interacting with people who have had the same restrictions and expectations upon them in life as I have. It was comforting to be in an organisation that was not satisfied with just allowing these stereotypes and ceilings to stop young people from achieving and making something positive of themselves, and incredibly eye-opening and inspiring to work everyday with them, witnessing their relentless fight against these labels and seeing them form opportunities and encourage young people to believe that they do have the potential to be something great – that they can be the success stories and are not just restricted to a life measured by poverty statistics and deprivation.
I am quite proud to be from a similar area, but breaking those limits through hard work and determination and it was amazing to see the support those that work at Ykids give to young people in Bootle to do the same – the merits of knowing that someone believes in them and is on their side willing them on has been illustrated thoroughly throughout my placement. I have never really understood what a charity does, what makes a charity work and allows them to make a difference and it has been greatly rewarding to witness and understand that it isn’t what, but who and see firsthand the huge scale of the difference that an organisation like Ykids makes upon a community like Bootle and the great amount of work that is put into making that happen.
I greatly underestimated the work and the impact that a charity like Ykids has, and even more so, underestimated the impact that witnessing their magic over two weeks would have on me.”
We are always looking to the charities we work with to help provide placements for CAP. With the demand for placements getting higher each year, we are looking to expand the group of charities that we work with on CAP, so if you think your organisation might be able to help, and you have an existing relationship with The Rank Foundation, please get in touch so we can give you more information.