by Amy How, Engagement and Events Co-ordinator
Since I last posted, it has been all systems go here at Red Kite, with loads of activity happening in and around our communities!
Our annual Community Morning was a huge success, with 130 staff and volunteers engaged with 14 different projects across the Wycombe district. After the event, I had a lot of positive feedback from both staff and organisations about the amazing work we got done in just one morning! The atmosphere was buzzing in the office when we all came back and everyone was in great spirits for the rest of the day (and some a little tired!). Something about the Community Morning leaves a lasting impression on all of us for weeks after, so we are looking to hold even more events in the future.
This month also saw the start of our Business Start-Up Course. We had 20 local residents attend the taster session, with more applications coming through on the day, bringing our grand total to 23 students this year. There is a huge variety of exciting business ideas which could benefit the local community, from homemade speciality tea and coffee, to a community gardening project for vulnerable young people. The programme will run for the next 12 weeks, facilitated by Enterprise Cube who bring a wealth of experience in setting up businesses. I will be sure to update you on the success of our graduates as we go along!
This month we also have our Dementia Awareness Week activities running from 10th May until 19th May. The Dementia Awareness Week committee planned lots of activities for people to get involved in, from Dementia Friends training workshops for staff in partnership with Alzheimer’s UK and memory board competitions across our sheltered schemes, to an old fashioned bake sale and retro dress up fundraiser in the office. We hope to spread awareness of dementia and Alzheimer's across the organisation and throughout our homes so that we are more knowledgeable on dementia and can support those who live with the condition.
We also have the upcoming ‘Boomfest’ event that we are working on in partnership with the Micklefield and Marsh Big Local. Red Kite are helping with the music element of the project and our staff will be out and about volunteering on the day with young people from the area, showing off all their musical talent and getting stuck in. We are running this alongside a range of activities that Micklefield and Marsh are putting on for young people during May and June, so if you have any children or teenagers who might be interested, most of the activities are free or low cost - find more information here.
Looking to the future now, it is time to start planning this year’s Neighbourhood Awards, so look out for the posters and nomination forms which are available on our website and Facebook. You will be able to nominate people and gardens for awards such as ‘Best junior garden’, ‘Best community garden, ‘Good neighbour’ and much more. We have made the process of applying and nominating in the Neighbourhood Awards a lot easier this year, introducing a knowledgeable and dedicated panel of judges, along with a diverse range of categories. There will be lots more information coming your way in the next couple of weeks, so keep a look out!
Alongside all this activity, we are also busy planning an exciting thank you event for our volunteers. It’s always a fantastic evening, where we get together with all those people who get involved with our organisation, to thank them for all the time and effort they give to helping improve the services of Red Kite for all of our customers. This year looks like it will be packed with fun filled activities and lots of food!
On the subject of thanking our wonderful volunteers, we have Volunteers' Week coming up from 1st - 7th June! We will be encouraging staff to get out and about in the community, working with local community organisations on different projects, as well as taking part in our Volunteers' Week Campaign which showcases the work our own colleagues and volunteers achieve together. We aim to capture a few inspiring stories of ways in which our volunteers have had a real impact on how we work and I shall be writing lots about this the next time I post.
If you are a customer who is interested in getting involved at Red Kite, do let us know and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep your eyes peeled for more updates from me soon!