Archive for the ‘Learning’ Category

Life as a Fundraising Intern – Week Four

Sitting in the office this afternoon it is time for me to reflect, once again, on my week here at Action For Kids. Among the usual chatter, hustle and bustle of daily office life provided by our young people, I am able to digest the events of this week using my experiences as a tool with which to reflect upon what I have learnt so far.

This week, I have been given the opportunity to demonstrate my skills within the areas of Public Relations (PR) and Communications. Having worked within Action For Kids for a considerable amount of time now, I have built upon an array of skills and knowledge, being given tangible experience of working within an office environment and specifically, the department of Fundraising. This has been invaluable, and something that I look forward to continuing to learn from in forthcoming weeks.

As you may already know, we hold an annual Beach Volleyball Championship that takes place to raise vital funds in support of our charity and the children and young people we help.  For those of you who are less familiar with this event, fast-paced city life collides with the anticipation and fun brought about when a Beach Volleyball court is placed in the centre of an iconic venue. This year the Championships will take place at Canary Wharf, complete with 80 tonnes, yes, 80 tonnes of sand and a shiny Beach Volleyball ready to be sprang into action!

Leaping into action!

Leaping for the ball!

If you have never competed in our Championship before and would like to participate, all you have to do is get a team of between 5-10 people together, pledge to fundraise for Action For Kids and you are good to go! There is plenty of time to register your interest, just go to our website for more information, or give us a call on our usual telephone number. Alternatively, you can always have a look at a selection of videos from last year’s event on our YouTube channel:

Many of our players are keen to get involved eith the game, often choosing quirky ways to represent their team

Many of our players are keen to get involved with the game, often choosing quirky ways to represent their team.

In relation to this year’s event, I was asked to write a mock press release that could potentially be distributed to Press, giving journalists or other important stakeholders the chance to find out more about our event. Where appropriate, this would also present journalists with the opportunity to write a piece about it for publication. Writing this press release was a particular highlight of my week, as I was able to use the skills and knowledge acquired during my degree to assist me with completing the task. It was also beneficial to be able to practice and polish my skills of writing a press release, while using my knowledge of PR and Communications to lead with expertise in this area; assisting with a specific function within our organisation.

In addition to this, I was given the responsibility of creating a press coverage document for all the coverage we have gained in relation to our partnership with Sainsbury’s Muswell Hill. I thoroughly enjoyed compiling this document, as it is very valuable for Action For Kids as a way of documenting the recent activities of the organisation. It also allows us to demonstrate the ways that in being granted such a valuable partnership with Sainsbury’s, we have been able to provide our young people with some amazing opportunities.

Overall, this week has been a brilliant way of not only developing my existing skills, but also sharing the specific skills I possess for the benefit of the organisation. It is great to feel that the work I do is not only important to the organisation, but also valued by those I work with. Working within such a diverse office and team means that I am able to engage in a reciprocal learning process, as well as making a difference to Action For Kids and the work that it does, as this week has served to demonstrate.


Life as a Fundraising Intern – Video Games(Aid)

Life as a Fundraising Intern is proving to be as busy and insightful as ever. Reflecting on the events of this week, there has been lots to get involved with and a great deal more to learn from.

Monday afternoon saw the arrival of a number of Action For Kids beneficiaries, as well as a selection of representatives from the games industry charity Games Aid. This is because, following their extremely generous donation in support of our charity and our work last year, they were keen to return, finding out more about the work we do in aid of our young people and how their money was making a difference. It was lovely to become re-acquainted with some familiar faces I had the chance to meet at a previous GamesAid event, while also being introduced to some new people, and getting to know more about them.

All in all, there were a total of three beneficiaries, all present in order to be featured in this year’s GamesAid video. One particular beneficiary was a bright, bubbly, out-going, and chatty young girl with Down’s Syndrome who had beautifully coiffed hair and a natural affinity for a camera. I was also asked to partake in the filming, as I have been a beneficiary of the charity in the past, knowing only too well the difference that being provided with life-changing equipment can make. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking of the ways that this unique charity has impacted my life, being able to converse and share stories. Then there was George, an incredibly adorable, inquisitive and clever two-year old little boy, who although camera shy seemed very pleased with his new equipment provided by Action For Kids. George’s ‘Whizzybug’ was an eye-catching, pillar-box red electronic chair, complete with a child-friendly design featuring a set of wide, friendly eyes positioned exactly where the headlights would be on a car. It was great to watch George play and interact with his twin brother; while witnessing the mutual amount of love and admiration they held for one another.

A selection of GamesAid representatives, alongside some Action For Kids beneficiaries and staff.

Proof of a great afternoon spent with representatives from GamesAid.

Listening to George’s mum talk of the difference that the new chair has made to her family’s life was incredibly special, putting into perspective the great work that GamesAid helps the charities it supports to achieve. Being given a sense of independence is invaluable, and in providing equipment to both George and all the other families that Action For Kids helps, it is clear that they are not only giving them real freedom, but also the freedom to realise their potential; helping them to triumph over the challenges that having a disability may present.

Life as a Fundraising Intern – Hello & Happy New Year!

As it is the start of the new year, everyone here at Action For Kids and I would like to wish you, our blog followers a happy and healthy 2013. We are looking forward to the year ahead and are keen to keep you well informed of our happenings over the next twelve months.

You may be wondering why blog content has been a little sparse over the past few weeks. This is because unfortunately, just before the festive period I had an accident resulting in a broken ankle; meaning I had to temporarily postpone my role as a Fundraising Intern. Having to adapt to life with an ankle injury has not been without its challenges, especially when living with a disability presents a variety of challenges in itself. However, after some much needed rest, copious amounts of tea, biscuits and television, this blog post marks my first day back at Action For Kids; which is a great feeling.

Time for Tea!

Time for Tea: The perfect remedy when feeling blue.

Entering the office this morning it was as if I had never been away, the atmosphere as friendly, warm and welcoming as it had ever been.  I am very pleased to say that I am, once again, a part of the Action For Kids team and look forwards to sharing and documenting my future experiences as part of this blog.

On an interesting trip to Parliament then off to the nearest Macdonalds we went

Colin (the participation officer) who runs the young people’s forum asked me if I would like to come with him on a trip to parliament on Thursday. At first I had to consider the possibility that I couldn’t go because I was going to work at the supermarket between 4pm and midnight that day, however fortunately the schedule for the trip planned to arrive at the AFK building before 2:30pm this allowed me plenty of time to get to my other job so yes for me the trip was on.

On that Thursday morning I had to be at the A.F.K building at 9 o’clock in the morning (half an hour earlier then when I usually have to be there) this wasn’t easy considering the previous day Wednesday I had my usual over 12 hour working day routine of which consisted of me getting out of bed at 8:30am to arrive at A.F.K at 9:30am to do 4 and a half hours of continuous raffle inputting but to be fair during this I am allowed to go out for fresh air briefly in order to stop myself falling asleep. Then at 2pm I get on my Bike and ride home which takes luckily only 5-10 min as I don’t live far from A.F.K eat my Lunch and make my way to the supermarket which takes at least 40min as it is over 2 miles further away than A.F.K but since I get the freedom pass so travel is free and I get the inner London premium so it’s ok. I arrive there at 4pm to stand at a self scan checkout to state the obvious to some idiots and make sure the customers transactions go though smoothly around 7pm-7:30pm I get a half hour break where I grab something to eat then it’s another 4 or more hours on a normal till mostly in the second half of my shift when the real loony tunes tend to make an appearance this can be entertaining when thinking back about it but usually less funny at the time. Then at midnight I finally get to go home and get one of the last tubes. Then when I arrive home I have my dinner and finally get to sleep at well past 1am. So I’m used to a lie-in on a Thursday rather than getting up half an hour earlier than the day before but despite all that I was quite excited.

Our local station

I managed to get there around 9:05am I saw there was only one minibus in the driveway at first I thought the minibus might have gone without me however when I went inside the A.F.K building Colin was there and so was carol chuck (the work related Learning supervisor) and Hisba (a present student) and Faisal (another present student). Colin asked me if I knew where I was going so I replied “houses of parliament “so he asked if I knew how to get there and I said vaguely as I remembered it from before he then handed me a print out from (a website for planning your public transport routes around London) and told me to lead the way. The journey started with a walk to Hornsey BR train.

At the station I saw the train coming in the opposite direction on the other platform before 9:30 and said that I thought my aspie Work colleague Ben would be arriving on this train and just as I predicted me and Colin both saw him but he couldn’t see us as he was facing away from us walking towards the exit to get to the A.F.K building.

On the underground

Next came our train but despite it being past rush hour it was rather crowded and we were standing all way squeezed in the train like sardines. We got off at Highbury and Islington station to get the Victoria line and had the same conditions there. We swapped at Green Park for the jubilee line where we all actually got seats but it was only for one stop. Once we arrived at houses of parliament I saw a load of bikes parked there so I said “I wonder how many M.P’s cycle to work” so Colin said he didn’t think any M.P’s would have got to work yet as it was before 10. We went to meet and had a group photo with a couple of people from Burson Marsteller (a P.R company) who kindly arranged this trip for us using their connections from doing the P.R for the Labour party.

When we started to enter the building we had to get through security. There we had to be searched and put through an airport style x-ray machine with a load of police officers to walk us through it. Once we all got past that, a second group photo was taken and the first part of the houses of parliament we waited in was Westminster Abby, this room that looked like a big church with stain glass windows. I remember one of us pronouncing Hisba’s name as whisper and Colin said to one of the Burson marsteller people “Hisba usually has only one volume level a lot loader then that.” I found that funny only Hisba laughed but seemed to object at the same time.

Our tour guide then arrived to begin walking us though the tour. He was an old Man called Kevin though he was quite humorous this made the tour quite amusing. He showed us the route the queen takes when opening parliament and also showed us queen Victoria’s old throne with a cushion under it for her feet as she was too short for her feet to reach the ground. he asked where in north London we were from as he said he remembered taking a group of school kids from Tottenham around on this tour recently where one of the girls commented on the gold the queen wears to open parliament by saying that it was one serious piece of bling. He showed us to the House of Lords first where there were red seats that you had to be rich to sit in I.E buy a peerage off the current M.P’s or make a few million pound donation to the political party who are in power. When we first entered the House of Lords Hisba said “This is a court” I laughed a little and said “No its not it’s The house of Lords” the guide said “well you’re both Right actually as this used to be the Highest court in the land” he showed us where the dock used to be for the defendant to stand, I asked him if they had cells there for the defendants he said yes they do. I think they now probably use them for anyone caught with anything incriminating by the many police officers who searched us on the way in.

We were then through the corridor where there are statues of ex prime ministers including Margret Thatcher and no statue of tony Blaire but the guide told us that some people say he should have one because he was the longest ever serving prime Minister. He then took us through a corridor leading to the house of commons where the guide talked about King Charles once hearing about one of the M.P’s 350 odd years ago saying that he shouldn’t have as many powers as he does and 4 others agreed with him and he burst in with his army demanding to know who said this and they all refused to tell him and it led to a civil war where he was beheaded and due to those previous actions the queen was not allowed in the house of commons. One of those people to lead the parliamentary coup against the King was Oliver Cromwell who was probably one the biggest party poopers in history who banned Christmas, theatres and pie (and would most likely have banned chart music, T.V and computer games if they had of been invented back then) was to be the one that took over from the king. After hearing that I thought well then he can’t have been a good king if people preferred someone like Cromwell in power to the likes of him.

The guide then took us into the House of Commons full of green seats that you had to be popular to sit in meaning you had to have a 100,000 odd people in your area like you enough to want to vote for you. The guide told us about how M.P’s had a corridor to walk down on one side for yes and one on the other side for no when they were voting on a new law and whichever corridor had the most M.P’s standing in it decided whether that new law got passed or not. He told me there was a bell that rang for when this happened and the bell also rang at 2 local pubs as well as the building in case the M.P’s where out drinking at the time. He also talked about how the black rods would bang on the door to the House of Commons when the queen was there and how she even got the door slammed in her face. I can’t imagine anywhere else where her majesty would receive this kind of welcome.

The guide showed us to a room where there was pictures of napoleon getting defeated by the English army many years ago and how this room was used for the hospitality of important foreign guests and how the pictures had to be covered when the room was being used for this as one time a French president was offended by this picture.

After showing us pictures of King Henry the 8th and his several wives and how he founded the Church of England because the Catholic Church refused to let him marry a 3rd or 4th time. As well as telling the story of Guy Fawkes and his attempt to blow up houses of parliament with king James in it and he recited a few rhymes like remember remember the 5th of November saying he was a member of the bonfire society so he knew them word for word.

We then went to a gift shop at the end of our tour where there were parliament themed foods and stationery, the most memorable item was gunpowder mustard.

We then went into the cafe and decided it was too expensive a couple of people had decided to bring their own lunch and it was cold outside at the time so the debate was where can we go indoors and eat where they would not object to some of us eating our own food inside. the first place I could think of was a shopping centre inside with a Marks & Spencer or something for those who didn’t bring any food like myself to buy something however near the London eye we found a MacDonald’s. the one thing unique about that MacDonald’s was the fact that it labelled the calorie content of all their products. I was surprised the Big Mac was only 400 and something however I did enjoy my big tasty burger with bacon even though it was 980 nearly 1000 calories we decided there was plenty of time to do something else.

I suggested we went back on the 91 bus got the top front seats as it included us seeing parliament, downing street and we also would have got a tour of prisons on the way back as we would have passed both Holloway and Pentonville on that route and it would have taken us to the doorstep of the A.F.K building, the only thing was that due to diversions we couldn’t find it. however we did get to walk past horse guards parade where Hisba had her photo taken next to a guard on horse, Colin made a comment about how it would be embarrassing if the guard fell off the horse.

then we went to see downing street then we walked to Piccadilly got the tube then the train back to Hornsey where I saw Hisba with an apple so I told her she should have given the horse some earlier she seemed to laugh but also object at the same time. We arrived at the A.F.K building at 2pm just as if it were a normal working Wednesday.

See The Difference!

Just like us, you can be a pioneer…. We’re always looking for great new ways to shout about the work we do, and that’s why when we got a call from the team over at See The Difference about their new video site, we were all over it like… well… you get the idea!

A bit of background for you.  See The Difference is a brand new way to make a difference, where you can browse lots of videos and choose a charity project that means something to you (such as ours!). You’ll get to know exactly where your money is going, and then see the difference you make from the feedback each charity will give about that project. Cool, huh?! Naturally, we hope the first one you’ll check out and share with all your mates is ours! Here it is …

Action For Kids film clip on See The Difference

So, at the start of this post, we tempted you with the idea of being a pioneer like us.  We were one of the first charities in the UK to sign up to See The Difference, and you can be one of the very first people to use the site!  We’re pioneering new ground together; it’s all about team work! What we would really love for you to do, is to go mad with the Share button!  There’s a Facebook Like button so you can easily post it to the wall, or a big tweetable T for Twitter, or you can even email it to your friends if you’re feeling a bit old school.  Of course, we won’t turn you away if you want to donate as well! Check out our awesome video, let us know what you think!

The politicians driven to despair when we paid a visit to parliament square

I was invited to visit the Houses of Parliament where Glenda Jackson (MP for Hampstead and Highgate) would be there to meet us. I thought I’d come along as the chance to grill Glenda would be fun. In the morning on the Wednesday when we arrived at Parliament we where met by a couple of ladies from the PR firm Burson Marsteller who did the PR for the Labour Party and arranged this Unique Opportunity for us. The ladies from the PR firm seemed impressed with my knowledge of the inside of parliament and came out with “I didn’t know that.” I was surprised as I had first assumed they worked at parliament, as I hadn’t met them till that day.

After a little wait we found that we could go in and when I first walked into the Building Troy cracked a joke about watering the grass as he wanted to the toilet but Lyn said that they couldn’t find the time to visit him in the police station if he did. The first door had a Police Woman outside and all bags where searched by her I was tempted to crack a joke about how she had better look under Troy’s cap for his knife but I thought better not as she might take it way too seriously. When we walked though that door it was just like the air port with a load of xray machines and metal detectors and so many police officers that I for a moment thought we had got Scotland Yard by mistake. We had our photos taken and where issued with visitor’s badges then I was able to go to the gents then come back and join the group. The first room where we waited for the tour guide to meet us had a stain glass window and was an old style building which was like a church.

big ben

When the tour guide got there I asked him if it was like a church there coz it was where the politicians prayed that the election results would go their way. The tour guide we got who’s name also happened to be Richard took us to the red section near the house of lords where we went first to the room where the queen goes to change into her special clothes before she opens parliament once a year. There were also lots of coats of arms and shields. The tour guide told us that a lot of the school boys think they were football team symbols so Troy asked where Arsenal was. The tour guide told him to see if he could find it but he couldn’t. We then went to where it really got interesting, the House of Lords and all the red seats, I saw something that looked like a loud speaker on each chair. I asked the tour guide whether it was a loud speaker or heated seats coz the Lords Porsches had them too. The tour guide told me they where loud speakers so everyone could hear each other. Then we all had to stand in the rows on those seats without being able to sit down on them to be out of the other groups way but if I wanted to sit down I would have to buy a pedigree and give a couple of million to a certain political party.

Then Sir Somebody walked in and the security lady told him he was not supposed to be in there at that time. But she did say something afterwards about the rules changing all the time. She also talked about something getting caught on the seats tearing the expensive red leather and saying it was £1000 worth of damage. The tour guide says she was going to show to a place where the Queen doesn’t go and that he would tell me why in the minute. At that point I immediately thought of poor areas and public transport. However it was actually the house of commons. The tour guide told us that this was because of King Charles antics, such as trying to behead politicians, so later he was beheaded himself and the royals where only aloud in the red section of the parliament building and the green part was out of bounds for them. We then went and stood above green seats to stay out of another groups way. These seats you had to live somewhere where a good few thousand people liked you enough to vote for you, so you got elected if you wanted to sit down there. The tour guide also pointed upwards to show us a big screen where the public gallery was before and said that it ruined the live atmosphere. However it was built because a group of protesters threw a bag of flour on Tony Blair’s head and it could have been anthrax or something else more dangerous.

We then went back to the big room that looked like a church and waited for someone to take us to see Glenda. We walked up this escalator and it looked like a shopping centre full of posh cafes. I asked the girl who was showing us the way if the cheapest bar in Westminster that was allegedly was in this building actually existed. Her answer was that we had just gone past it and her husband didn’t like the limited choice of drinks and when I asked her if it was tax free she said no. I figured they where not gone tell the public if it was as that would lose a lot of votes.


We finally got to Glenda’s office. Glenda was there waiting to greet us and we were all offered seats around a table. We were then all given a copy each of this thick booklet called hansar and Glenda said it was just for one day. My first response was gosh I’ve seen company annual reports smaller then this. Glenda said “I doubt it” and Suzie said “ and to think someone has to type all that”. Glenda talked about voting and how it saddened her that young people particularly girls where not bothering to vote as she said she remembered women who had risked their lives and even died to get them this right. And when she was 21 she voted and was happy that she could do so. I remembered a particular year when women where first allowed in the house of lords apart from the queen which was 1958 – only a year after Glenda was 21. So I asked her “Glenda you was 21 in 1957 and I remember from the tour how women where first allowed in the House of lords in 1958 shortly after. Was it your ambition to buy yourself a seat there when you had made enough money after finding you could as a women, but then found you where popular enough for a green seat so you didn’t have to buy a red one”. Her immediate response was “I WAS NOT 21 IN 1957 …… oh yes I was! However you couldn’t buy a seat there in those days you had to be born to the right family which I unfortunately wasn’t.” I don’t think she liked being reminded of that. She did talk a lot about how Gordon Brown was the man for the job and how Cameron wants to do cut backs and how she didn’t like Tony Blair. I asked her if the reason others begged to differ about Brown was that unlike her he was no actor and unlike Tony he was no barrister but that didn’t necessarily mean he wasn’t a good money manager. She seemed to like that.

When I asked her which she preferred out of politics and acting she said that when she was acting most theatre companies wouldn’t have put up the behaviours of some politicians she had to encounter. Suzie talked about how she remembered working with her ages ago when she was acting but I don’t think Glenda remembered her as it was so long ago. When I asked Glenda about the rumour that she told Tony Blair in 2005 to stand down or she will stand against him in 2005 and the fact he did so in 2007 and what she had on him. She answered with “it took him 2 years to go away since the time I told him to, so nothing” and that she did tell him this but she knew she stood not much chance against him so it was what they call a stoking horse. Glenda stated she thought that prime minister’s question time was a waste of time. So I asked her if she were the opposition wouldn’t she want to have the opportunity to ask Mr Cameron questions about his recent causes of action. She responded with “Well yes the prime minister should be held accountable however it has started becoming a time for Torys to have a go at Gordon Brown who is doing a very good job considering the circumstances .”


I asked her what made her want to go into politics when she had already made enough money to retire in acting. Her answer was she wanted to get rid of Margret Thatcher’s ghastly government. I asked her this joke question “So Glenda according to your page on Wikipedia, your political career took off in 1992 around the time that John Major won his last election and that he came from a circus family. Did you think that his party was becoming a bit of a circus and that as an ex actress did you thought she could do a better job of it?” She responded quickly with “ I’ m not that arrogant”. I remember asking her what she thought of car clubs she said “ My constituency is full of people who keep asking me what I’m going to do about getting all those cars off the road but were any of them willing to give up their cars like they want every one else to? No.”

Suzie was talking to her about affordable housing. Glenda was saying that her constituency did have quite a lot of poor people, however she stated that the council had sold approximately 25% of the housing stock under the ‘Right to buy’ scheme.. My thoughts were if that is true Hampstead and Highgate and surrounding area where so expensive, where do all those poor people live apart from the servants quarters? I asked Glenda about how she voted on the Autism bill and the terrorism act where one can be detained for up to 42 days without evidence. She voted yes to the autism bill and no to the said the section of the terrorism act. I wanted to ask her about Cameron’s cut backs and how Gordon intends to continue this good life they are providing on borrowed money and how does Gordon intend to pay it back and continue this at the same time; but she seemed to have to go before I could ask. Maybe she had a 6th sense for this sort of thing.

We then went downstairs to eat lunch which was quite nice but expensive in a café in the houses of parliament. We then went outside waited for Carenza’s wheelchair taxi for a while which seemed to come, then go away, then take a while to get her another one. This was most Annoying but we did arrive back at AFK before 2:30 pm so I could get to my supermarket job on time.

Blogged by Richard

Making mugs: my project

My name is Tanya and I was asked to help with designing mugs to sell to the public in order to raise more awareness for the charity. First of all a team of young Action For Kids students researed other charity’s merchandise on the internet to see what people would buy.

Then another group of students went out into Crouch End with a questionaire to ask the public what they would buy and how much they would pay. Then the students started to design different mugs, they came up with about 20 different designs, so we put it to vote to see which were the most popular and we came up with two designs.


Then a printer came into the office and I asked him some questions to do with the mugs and he said he would give us the mugs and package them for free. We then edited one of the mugs (the tree mug) where each of the students designed a flower or leaf and we put them all together took pictures and put them on the comuter.

Then I sent them to our printer with the Action for Kids logo and colours, for him to print he said it would take three weeks to print. When they got delivered everyone was excited including me, seeing our designs on mugs is very exciting, even more exciting is thinking that the public are useing our mugs designed by us.

Now we are selling them by word of mouth and local business Loukias has helped, and Budgens have given Action For Kids a stall outside there shop in Crouch End, to sell the mugs.

Blogged by Tanya

Me with Loukia from Loukia’s cafe on Tottenham Lane, N8


 Buy an Action For Kids mug designed by our students! Project manager Tanya, pictured with the mugs, said “I am really pleased with how they turned out and I hope that people will buy them”. They are available for £5 each (including p&p). Email to place an order.

Action For Kids: The Movie

Click here to view a five minute film about Action For Kids, where our bloggers are based. Richard works at the charity and Toby does work experience there. (Note that the film clip opens in YouTube).

Copy of Maria

A Teacher that didn’t quite make the grade…!


 Last term, one of my teachers was given the sack! The reason for this was simple: he lost our grades on no less than 6 times!

          Week 1: This teacher came to us all and said he hadn’t marked the work.  He went back to his office. Next day, he said it had ‘got caught up in a shredding pile’.

          Week 2: Teacher was in a bit of a flap over something when he came into the lesson. I asked him what was wrong. He muttered something about a mark book. I asked him as second time. This time, he gave in. He had fallen asleep on the Victoria Line and left his mark book on the train…WITH ALL OUR GRADES IN IT!  He apologised for the mistake and promised they would be found. This was an empty promise. They have never been found to this day.  After the lesson I had a massive go at the teacher. Obviously, he wasn’t best pleased. I was furious that my grades were gone! As far as I was concerned, I was as good as failed! I had to cool down for an hour.

Week 3: A message was posted on the college virtual notice board. It said that there had been a serious system error in regard to all Health and Social Care grades. All I could say to that was: ‘? *! @****!’ I was understandably annoyed. Week three and the problem had only got worse! It was traced back to this teacher. He was shown the door.             

A new head of department was brought in. She has rebuilt the reputation of the department in amazing style! The grades have never been retrieved.  I really hope that something can be done.

Blogged by Toby

The Day the staff at AFK went away

…. and tried not to get too carried away.

It all started with the meet up at Finsbury park station at 8:30 with a few members of the young peoples panel group that mainly consisted of Action For Kids students and ex students. So in a sense I had got a double invitation to attend that event.

Firstly coz I was now a member of staff on the payroll and secondly because I was a member of that young peoples panel who where invited to attend this event. I accompanied by Jo and a couple of students went down the Victoria line to oxford circus and made our way to the king’s fund.


When we arrived at the king’s fund it was a nice big building where there was a big hallway and we went upstairs to this big room shared with people attending events for other organisations with doors leading to other separate rooms (our room was room 7), which was lucky. Another lucky thing about it was that the man I had spoken to about lottery grant applications a few months ago was the man who was going to be running that event. So an event in room 7 run by a lottery man how lucky could it get.


I was talking to a few of the people there then who should I see but an old friend of mine who used to live down the road to me. She happened to work in that building which I didn’t know she worked there. When the event started there was a few speeches and then they’re where a few team building games to help us get to know each other better. And indeed I did learn a few interesting things about the staff at Action For Kids e.g. Jo was bourn in Thailand. Then where asked to brainstorm the word participation then did a few activities about that.


We had lunch and everything seemed to be to seafood apart from the vegetable crisps which it would have been funny if they where prawn cocktail something a bit fishy was going on here. The students had all gone home when lunch was over but for the staff the fun and games continued we had the team building game of no talking and we had to stand in a row in order of our birth dates. Nick and few more senior members of staff where rather worried at the thought of that however Paul C who was running it said that it was only the date not the year so it started with January one end and December the other only 2 of us had to swap at the end.


After a few of those games we talked more about participation and we had to pair up with fellow members of our departments and talk about how to get the students involved in the work that we do. Ben and me discussed how we could give our boring inputs to some the students as a promotion from envelope stuffing.


Paul was given a trophy for his good work as a finance director for Action For Kids, and then we started to walk to the pub, as a joke I pointed out to Paul that it was good he won a trophy on the day he agreed to renew my employment contract, and I suggested that giving me a pay rise might get him a kinghood. He laughed at that joke. pity I was hoping he’d try that one.




I was glad we where going to the pub as never had I spent so much time on discussing one word even though it was one with 5 syllables. Some started off on soft drinks and others including me got straight into it. Many jokes and funny story’s where told, however some of us got talking to the land lady who told us she had a son with A.D.H.D or dyspraxcia who was in his early 20’s and so a potential new student was found on that night out. I was the last one to leave this bar along with Lawrence from work related learning after he told me about his other previous jobs that where not as good as his present job. I then went on the tube and went home after a good day out.


 Blogged by Richard