Tales from the volunteers

Hi My name is Kyle Render and I am 19 Years old I am from Huddersfield in Yorkshire!

I did a project in Martinique for two weeks whilst studying at college, this was a great opportunity for me and I took this and went away with college for 2 weeks and I went out to bring my coaching knowledge out with me and teach children from different ages, my main sport was Rugby league however I also helped with other sports including Gymnastics!

Along side this I also had the opportunity to have visitors come around to out Accommodation which we stayed in for 2 Weeks! And that was great because I was able to learn the different culture but also alongside this I was able to explain about our English Culture.

With all the coaching there was great opportunity for free time and Wow was it great been able to go and do a lot of different activities now there is a lot so I will just pick out my main ones which I thought was my favourite ones the first one was having the opportunity to be able to join in with water sports and been able to be taught by professional coaches before going to Martinique water sports wasn’t something I ever thought about getting involved in but after having the experience this gave me a lot of confidence and showed me how enjoyable it was and boosted my confidence to do it and this is something I would definitely do again and something I would recommend.

The second one was been able to go and enjoy a day on the beach, this was great because it meant we had a day to chill out and enjoy the beach! And lastly was the opportunity to be able to walk around the town! This was something which I wouldn’t of done before coming but been able to walk around was great to see the different towns and the shops and was great been able to take a lot of photos to keep as memories.

The main things that I learnt when been over in Martinique was a great understanding about water sports and the different types of water sports and also the different names for the equipment that is needed for the sport. Also been able to meet and greet different people of all ages which spoke a different language was great because this gave me more confidence to be able to speak to people who don’t speak the same language as myself. The things that I have learnt personally would be the confidence to coach before coming to Martinique I had just qualified for my Level 1 Rugby league coaching qualification but after having thus experience this then helped me to want to progress onto the next level, and this has also helped me boost my confidence to change my coaching ways to help people understand.

Another thing wouldn’t be adapting difference from England to Martinique because from visiting the supermarket it was a lot different with the types of food that they sell in there supermarkets so we had to not only adapt when making a meal for the rest of our class but also had to make sure we checked it was the right product before buying.

This project has helped me a lot because I has opened up more doors for me after this project I went home and had a hard think and I applied for a sport coach position and I got the job and from this project this help me to do this because the employer was amazed with the project I went on along side this I have also been looking into traveling to different countries to go over and coach Rugby league. Cannot thank more Everything is Possible and Erasmus+ for giving me the opportunity to be able to do this project this has really helped me a lot with progressing within coaching.

 

 DM Banner EP

Project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union – The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

My name is Thomas Gledhill, 18 years old and I live in Huddersfield.

I was invited to Valencia with my college, whilst studying a Btec level 3 – studying Sports Development and Coaching. During the two weeks I spent in Valencia the professional activities I engaged in involved coaching and working within a professional academy. My role included delivering sessions for children within local football teams and clubs. We also got the opportunity to attend a football match at Valencia against Arsenal.

During free time we visited the beach and spent time observing academy teams play against each other, this gave me a feel of how match days run in a working and professional environment. We also saw the differences within the coaches on a match day compared to a training day. Myself and my team took part in a paella evening where we learnt about the culture of Spain and understood differences of the Spanish life compared to English life. Free time allowed myself and my friends to be independent, we explored Valencia and learnt about the differences when travelling and tacking public transport.

During my two weeks working with SPF I learnt how professional academies balance their work and free time in order to be successful on match days. Working with the coaches showed me how behavior differed depending on the environment, session and players. I learnt that I am confident when delivering sessions for people I haven’t engaged with before. I adapted my teaching styles as I adapted to the new environment abroad, the language barrier was difficult. However, I showed resilience and developed ways to overcome this obstacle.

My experience with SPF has overall increased my confidence, it has also made me more resilient as a person. I have been fortunate to be offered a Five month coaching role back at SPF in Valencia. The project I participated in through college made this opportunity possible. Living with people from college for two weeks and building on my independence has helped me prepare for my next adventure where I will be without my family for a longer period of time.
My recent trip to Valencia has prepared me for this exciting journey ahead. Additionally, picking up on some Spanish has taught me a new skill which will be extremely useful in the future, particularly when I start my new adventure in Valencia as an 18 year old boy who will be living a completely different life compared to life in England.

I am extremely thankful for the opportunity with SPF through Everything is Possible and Kirklees College. I am more than happy with my own development and impressed with myself for being approached and asked to work in Valencia for five months. I am excited to start my new journey and continue to develop and grow as an individual, continue to learn Spanish and make a difference for children and young people through the love of football.

 

DM Banner EP

Project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union – The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

My name is Jack Scholes, I am 19 years old from Huddersfield. I recently undertook a project with Everything is Possible in Aruba living independently and working on De Palm Island, a resort for tourists and locals, as a lifeguard. I spent four months in Aruba from the end of November 2019 until the end of March 2020.

Throughout my time working at De Palm Island I took on many different roles in the job. Our main duty as lifeguards is to ensure the safety of everybody on the island and help anybody in need in the event of an incident. As well as keeping everyone safe, we had to make sure people were comfortable, relaxed and having fun. This meant we had to operate the slides, hand out snorkelling equipment, guide snorkel tours, help on the banana boat and man the children’s waterpark, which often meant being involved in water fights! As well as those duties, we had to stay behind in the evenings in order to clean and prep the island ready for the next day, picking up litter and cleaning all the equipment daily.

Each day the island would accommodate anywhere between 200-600 guests which would mean we would have the opportunity to interact with people from all different countries and cultures from around the world. Being able to speak to this many people allowed me to develop my confidence, especially in a professional setting. When taking people out for snorkelling tours and helping them on the banana boat you would often have to explain something to large groups of people which is something I wasn’t comfortable doing before I did the project but that along with a lot of other things got easier the more I did them.

Besides working on De Palm Island, I also had free time outside of work every day and 2 full days off per week. This meant I had loads of time to go out with friends, visit beaches, snorkel, go off-roading and generally explore the island. We met so many people in Aruba, the locals were all extremely friendly and made it feel like home from the minute we landed at the airport. I enjoyed all the culture Aruba had to offer including history and culture events and carnival, which was being celebrated all over Aruba for most of the time that I was there. I also Tried all sorts of new food, from Columbian food to classic Arubian dishes like Keshi Yena.

I learnt a lot while I was in Aruba. Professionally, I gained more confidence in communicating with people and explaining things to them, even when trying to overcome a language barrier. I learnt how to get along with people from different backgrounds and cultures in a professional way while making a lot of good friends along the way. Working on De Palm Island has allowed me to realise that I can push myself further than I thought I could before. I was worried about working in a new place with lots of new people and nobody I knew around me but it has allowed me to overcome that and I think I will be more ready to take on new challenges in the future. It also taught me the importance of being ready for work, having uniform washed and ready for the next day, showing up to work on time and knowing what my schedule was each week, generally looking after myself. It has allowed me to gain a lot of independence.

 

DM Banner EP

Project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union – The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

My name is Marc Raw. I am from Huddersfield and I am 19 years old. Last year I took part in one of the projects in Aruba working on De Palm Island as an activity instructor/life guard for 3 months.

Throughout my VET project I took part in some professional activities and I also did some teaching of these activities to the customer. Some of the activities that I did were snorkelling and Snuba. Snorkelling involved me swimming above the water with my head in the water with a mask on so that I could breath. Snuba is where you are in the water with a mouth piece on, to breathe through tubes that were attached to a float and goggles. I also did sea trek which is where you wear a helmet and walk under water.

In my free time I visited many cultural places. One of the places was called Ayo Rock Formation which was an area in Aruba where it had lots of different types of rocks and boulders to climb and explore. Another place was the California Lighthouse which was based in the Noord. The lighthouse overlooked most of Aruba. There was also De Palm Island which was an activity Island. It had many activities on it and also some flamingos as well.

Whilst being in Aruba I learnt how to run all the activities on De Palm Island. These where: zip line, life guard tower, snorkelling booth, Water Park and air jump. This involved providing excellent customer care.

During my time on this project I learnt how to speak a different language which was Spanish/Papiamento. I also learnt how to live independently, by having to cook my own food, do the weekly shop, travel to places on my own and clean after myself. I was also able to learn how to go sea trekking and also snuba. I was also able to build up on my communication skills and also being to budget my money.

This project could help me in the future as it would open more doors for me applying for different types of jobs, improve on my skills that I already have and learn new skills. It has enhanced my CV greatly, and the whole experience was amazing.

 

DM Banner EP

Project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union – The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

My name is Shane Blaylock, I’m 18 years old and I’m from a small town in the North East of England called Haltwhistle. I currently study outdoor adventure sport at Newton Rigg college and in my first year of studying I was granted the chance to apply and be interviewed for a winter sports project in Sweden. My initial thoughts were this sounds amazing as Sweden is a place I’d never thought I’d look into travelling to and or take part in winter sports such as cross country skiing.

Once I was interviewed my excitement grew and 2 weeks later I was told I was going to Sweden for free! Which is amazing being from a low income family and the fact I’d never been abroad before.

Whilst studying outdoor adventure sport, I took part in kayaking, canoeing, caving, climbing and hill walking which fuelled my interest to become an outdoor instructor.

To be a good instructor you need to be able to be confident and adaptable, which are 2 things I was able to develop when in Sweden.

During the project, I spoke in front of school pupils and delivered a presentation of live in England and then got into small groups and compared the differences between England and Sweden. I learned that Sweden is much more environmentally friendly such as returning plastics to supermarkets for money. I had to adapt between different groups as there was age differences and different abilities of speaking English, through this I was also able to learn a little bit of Swedish as well.

When we weren’t in classrooms, we would either be on the slopes, on an ice rink, driving snow mobiles or being pulled on a sledge by huskies! There was always something to do, one of my favourite activities was ice fishing. A memorable moment is sitting on a frozen lake at -12 degrees looking at the Northern lights!

We also become good friends with a sámi family and worked on their reindeer farm for a day. I’m still in contact with them today!

Since coming back from Sweden, (apart from wanting to go back) I have gained relevant Outdoor Adventure qualifications which will help me get jobs in the outdoor industry.

I have become much more competent in trying new things since partaking in winter sports and the want to develop new skills has increased dramatically. The project has made me enthusiastic to travel to different countries and learn about different cultures and hopefully work abroad too.

The project has made me become more independent and taught me important life skills such as having to cook for myself and the group has made me a lot more confident in my own cooking and has allowed me to cook at home more frequently which I love. Budgeting was also a key part when shopping which has helped me be more careful with my own money.

With all the skills I have learned from the project, I felt confident enough to further my education and apply to university which will help me develop my skills learned in Sweden even more, making me an all round better outdoor instructor.

 

DM Banner EP

Project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union – The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Great interview from Liam about his Vocational Educational Training project in Aruba, coaching young people with Tur Cos Ta Posibel.
 

 

 

 

CH Banner TCTP

Project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union – The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Here is another great interviez. Watch Cameron’s inspiring interview about his Vocational Educational Training project in Aruba, coaching young people with Tur Cos Ta Posibel.

 

 

 

CH Banner TCTP

Project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union – The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Watch Luke’s inspiring interview about his Vocational Educational Training project in Aruba, coaching young people.

 

 

 

CH Banner TCTP

Project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union – The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

My name is Jake Douglass, I recently took part in a project with everything is possible which involved me flying to Aruba where I would work on a resort named De Palm Island.

There my job as a trainee was a lifeguard but I did much more. My training work always varied on a day to day basis as each day a schedule would be released and would give us the chance to go and work on all the different stations that the resort offered. This ranged from operating slides, to helping with equipment and also being able to personally take guests on snorkelling tours.

The work we did was amazing and I loved the time I had in Aruba. The programme was perfect for me as each day I would meet new people with new stories and new backgrounds which I could learn about through communicating and getting to know them. This was amazing for me as it allowed me to be even more sociable which is for me my best trait. It helped me to be able to learn to communicate even better and work on my skills with people one on one.

I can’t even put into words how this project made me felt each day when I went to work. It’s by far the best thing I’ve ever done and the best way experience of my life. It’s something with my background I never thought was possible and it makes me so proud to be able to say I was able to leave my area and get to travel and work in Aruba (which by the way is my favourite place in the world).

I haven’t ever been able to visit many places but I’ve always had this side of me that wants to travel and I think now this project has influenced what I want to do with my life. I now would like to travel the world or get into a profession which allows me to do so and I think this was a good stepping stone in helping me to do so with the experience it has given me. It’s also helped to find what my passion is and this is why it has influenced my decisions what I may make in the future.

Through being in Aruba I was able to realise that having new experiences with new people and seeing new things everyday is something I want to be able to do for the rest of my life. I don’t know how or what this exactly is right now but what I do know is the time spent in Aruba has been a very important time for me and has changed my life. My free time on the island was also amazing, often we would go out with friends and see different attractions around the island or sometimes just enjoy the insane weather and relax on the beach all day!I had so much fun when being able to just be free and explore this amazing place. Guess what this was two times every week also which was great.

Professionally also, I learnt how to present myself better and how to deal with all different types of people and personalities as each day we could be communicating and helping anywhere from 200-700 people. This was by far my favourite part of the job! The variety of people we would meet. All this was important for me but the best lesson was what I learnt personally.

Personally I learnt how to be more independent. This involved being in the house and sometimes having to clean the property. Also I learnt how to have to cope with feeding myself and washing etc. All of this sounds rather boring but is very important for later life and for now as it learns me to be able to rely on myself and this is by far one of the most comforting and nice feelings.

I think this project is going to help me for the future as i have said it has shaped my thoughts on what I would like to do when I am older and as a career. Nothing is certain yet but I know a role similar to what I did at de palm where I would meet new people is something I would love to do for the rest of my life.

DM Banner De Palma

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Lewis’ VET project in Greece

My name is Lewis Jones. I am currently taking part on a VET project with Archelon the sea turtle protection society of Greece at their rescue centre in Athens.

 

Archelon has three main objectives:

1 – To study the nesting habits of the sea turtle Caretta Caretta, looking at how best to conserve them.

2- To rescue and re-habilitate any injured or sick turtles found in and around Greece, through the use of the rescue centre.

3 – To educate the public on what dangers these creatures face and what they can do to help them.

 

I have had a very hands-on experience with the turtles and have been conducting the following.

– Cleaning both the tanks and the turtles.

– Conducting basic treatment of injuries, such as treatment to head injuries and missing limbs as well as the administration of drips.

– I have also conducted emergency first aid to turtles, especially when I have conducted a pick-up of a turtle. I have picked up two turtles, one is called Ariadni and Kornilllia, we hope that Ariadni will be released later in the year.

– I have also been conducting emergency procedures, most recently with the turtle Alkioni who came in with pneumonia.

– I have been conducting tube feeding, unfortunately a necessary procedure for many of the turtles that come through our doors.

– I have learnt a great deal about project co-ordination and how best to conduct all our activities while causing minimal stress to the turtles in our care.

 

In the next few weeks I will be helping with the final preparations for turtle releases. This requires me to work one on one with my manager Eirini as we conduct the final measurements and tagging of any turtles that will be due to be released, one of whom Ariadni is a turtle I have a very close bond with.

As it gets closer to summer and more turtles return to the Greek waters, more turtles will be arriving at the rescue centre with an ever-increasing workload.

 

I have learnt a great deal professionally since I have first arrived here, so much so that it has caused me to change the direction in which I want to take my professional career. Through this project I have learnt more about turtle ecology and turtle biology (especially while observing the necropsy of a four kilogram turtle who had died due to a hook trapped in his throat) and the risks that turtles face than I could ever have done in any lecture hall. The difference a place like this teaches you, in comparison to a classroom, is the difference between knowledge and comprehension. Through the care in which I have been conducting I have been able to learn in-depth about these creatures and why they have not had to adapt for thousands of years and how they are now adapting to the ever-changing environment that humans have created.

 

As you probably know, Marine biology is a highly competitive field. I have looked at several jobs as well as more advanced projects that require experience in many of the elements that I am receiving here. I was unfortunately unsuccessful for a job in the Seychelles on a private island, having got to the interview stage, simply because I did not have experience in turtle tagging. I was able to take this information to my manager Eirini who assured me that I will take part in turtle tagging to prevent a situation like this from happening again. Due to the length of my time here, it will give me a competitive edge for any jobs, projects or degree that require me to work with turtles in the future.

 

On a more personal note I have learnt a lot about other cultures. Due to the multi-cultural factor of the project I am regularly the only British person on the project. This has exposed me to many different cultures and the differences between these. For example, how people speak, the differences in mannerisms and what is acceptable in one culture but not another. There could be as many as 12 volunteers, but each person is from a different country. It teaches you how best to communicate with people when there is a language barrier and how to get the best out of each individual. We are also living in very close proximity to each other, now more than ever, therefore you learn many personal skills which would normally take years to master. Now, though, there are fewer volunteers, but it still blows my mind that I can be at a table of six volunteers/trainees and two members of staff, all speaking English, yet be the only English person at the table.

 

In our spare time we spend a great deal of time being common tourists, discovering the many hidden secrets of this ancient city of Athens as well as the major features. For example, the Acropolis (though in my opinion the many alley ways and houses around the Acropolis are the true stars of the city) and the old Olympic stadium which is truly beautiful. We have close ties with many people in the local community from the head waitress in our favourite restaurant to the part-time Greek volunteers who invite us to meet their families. It is not uncommon however for volunteers to come in on their days off especially as the work has increased, and after a hard days work there is nothing better than watching the sunset from the Rescue Centre decking (which in my honest opinion are some of the best sunsets I have ever seen).

 

As the virus has hit, the work that I have been conducting here has become even more important, as fewer volunteers can now arrive. Those who are still here are having to work even harder. There is no doubt in my mind that the best place for me is here, working with this team and helping to save the lives of these endangered turtles.

 

I hope that you take this testimonial as proof that this is the best place for me as a professional and as an individual.

 

______________________

 

Project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

 

CH Banner Archelon

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