The Positive People team here at Cosmic are looking forward to 2018 after a successful and rewarding first year on the project. The team experienced many highlights and learnt a lot along the way. Every day they met amazing and inspirational individuals and were able to support and guide them on their journey towards a positive future.
With plans well underway for the year ahead, the team are equipped with their growing knowledge and experience to help make 2018 an even better year for the project. As the new year is a time for reflection, the Positive People team would like to share some of their highlights from 2017, so here they are!
I have lots of good memories. The best moments for me have been sharing our clients’ successes in finding a job, going into education, or realising, through their feedback, how our sessions have made their life easier in terms of tackling all their digital “fears”. Their happiness at achieving what they set out to achieve thanks to our support was the best reward I’ve had in a job for years.
The collaborative nature of our job and finding out how great the people I am working with across the whole of the project are, was also one of the biggest highlights for me of the last few months.
I’ve got two highlights. The first was putting together our Lego stop motion sessions. Using a very simple app and a pile of Lego bricks we took our participants from watching movies through to making them! These were my first real experiences of developing and delivering engagement sessions on the project, and they went better than I could’ve imagined!
My other highlight was our Segway event. We gave a few participants GoPros to film our safari around Haldon Forest, and did some video editing on iPads afterwards. Although it was bitterly cold, everyone had a great time – and a few falls!
My favourite moment was during one of our mountain biking session and seeing someone who had never ridden a bike before face the challenge head on. She did all three routes on a tricycle and didn’t complain once. Even when she fell off, she just got back on again. She wasn’t put off by the large hills or that everyone else could ride either. It was inspirational because she showed everyone what you can do if you put your mind to it.
My favourite moments are when we hear a client has found work. I had accompanied one client to interview at an employment agency, which looked quite hopeful but they didn’t give him an answer on the day. He was unable to use his phone other than to receive calls, so he couldn’t get in touch with me. Then I found out he had got the job from his work coach at the local job centre. We both cheered!
One of my highlights was when we planted trees in Culm Davy. It was the first time I saw both Positive People participants and staff working together to achieve a shared goal. It was nice to see everyone participating in the same project and doing some good for the environment.
My other highlight is seeing the surprise on people’s faces when they try VR for the first time. They are amazed by the quality and simplicity of the devices and go away knowing they can do the same at home.
I have a number of great memories from 2017, but one aspect of the year that has stuck in my mind may seem completely insignificant to some. They were just a few small words mentioned by an individual that I had spent some time working with to improve their digital skills. The words he said were, “I can now type using both hands at the same time!”. Before I started working with this individual, he had only used a computer a couple of times and could only type very slowly using one finger at a time which he found quite frustrating. The fact that he can now type using both hands at the same time is allowing him to complete tasks much faster with more confidence.
One of my highlights of 2017 has been getting to work with a whole variety of existing services across the county. Somerset is full of so many resources that Positive People can collaborate with and compliment to make a huge impact in the region. We’ve been building relationships with places like Under Construction in Bridgwater and the Talking Café in Minehead to find and work with our participants. It’s been exciting to work together and ensure we make the most of groups already established around us.
An event that sticks in my mind is the mountain bike experience we held with POP+ and the Salvation Army. During the bike ride, I rode around a corner and saw one of our participants lying on the grass. At first, I thought he’d fallen off, but when I went over to him he said he was just “Enjoying the moment” as he looked up at the sun shining through the trees. This was the first time he’d been on a bike since his childhood and the first time he had really connected with the outdoor world. It was that little moment I won’t forget because it reminds me how important the work is that we do and how we are able to provide people with experiences they may never have had before.
We hope you are all able to reflect on the positive times from last year and make 2018 your best year yet. Happy New Year from all of us at the Positive People team!