Final Challenge: Team 46 Needs YOU!

  • Mar. 11th, 2011 at 2:00 PM
kelzadiddle: (Kevin Ayers Still Life With Guitar)
The final challenge is coming up for the Prince's Trust Team 46.

The task involves taking a group of disadvantaged people (in our case, we'll be working with elderly folk who are in care and generally never get out of their care home) and treating them to the time of their lives. Not only is the completion of this challenge essential to our course, it's also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the people we work with; an experience that we hope will leave them with happy memories to last a lifetime.

However, we need to raise funds in order to achieve this goal. Part of the challenge is that there are no loans, no grants and no financial help available to the team members; all funds must be raised ourselves. Alongside the team's collective efforts to raise funds, I'll be writing a sponsored novel. My goal is 3p per page, or £3 if I manage to write 150 pages in five days (the deadline being midnight, Friday 18 March).

Any contributions would be hugely appreciated by myself, the team, our team leaders and especially the people who will benefit most from the funds. I recognise that a lot of you can't sponsor me, being overseas and all that jazz, but I know you'll all give moral support at least in doing something which will probably drive me mad!

So, people who are able and willing to sponsor me, do drop me a line (stating who you are, where you are and how much you'll pledge) on kv_pilkington@hotmail.co.uk and I'll reply with further instructions. As proof of my efforts (because nobody wants to sponsor someone to simply sit on their backsides all day long), I'll be posting my writing online under the tag the prince's trust (2011): novel, irrespective of quality. Obviously it's not going to be fantastic; I'll be aiming for 30 pages a day!

PLEASE NOTE: the fundraising week is all next week, from today (Friday 11) to Sunday 20 March. Any sponsorships sent later than that will be invalid, so bear that in mind and include a return address.

Interested in how I intend to manage 150 pages over next week? I will employ the use of my lightning fast typing skills, a complete disregard for quality, Dr Wicked's Write or Die and witchcraft/a time machine.

The book will be written with no chapter headings, in 14-pt Times New Roman. My fonty staple diet. So if you're unsure about my progress you can copy and paste my drivel into a word document, switch it to that font and see for yourselves!

One last thing: tell your friends! I'd love to get a whole gaggle of sponsors to treat these people to an absolutely spectacular time.
kelzadiddle: (keep calm and read Wodehouse)
I'm going to stop confusing you all now and confirm that I'm actually sending an application for a work placement to the St. Helens Star, not the Reporter. Well, I say 'sending'... I actually e-mailed the guy last night, complete with CV. Since then, there's been no reply. I'm hoping for one early next week, preferably a 'yes'. If my application was rejected, I don't know what I'd do. Probably end up in a placement totally irrelevant to my aspirations.

Today was the handover ceremony! I got dressed up in my best clothes (read: what I normally wear but with trousers instead of jeans) but had a wee problem with shoes. I don't have any smart shoes; just tatty old canvas things and a couple of pairs of nice flip-flops. The flip-flops went fine with my outfit, but it's FEBRUARY OUTSIDE. I tried walking to the Club in them and my feet needed amputating. Thankfully I realised after a minute or two that I'd forgotten my phone - it gave me an excuse to go back.

Walking to and from the Club, I just wore my tatty old canvas shoes. During the ceremony, when looking smart was key, I wore the flip-flops. Problem solved!

I got there at about quarter to eleven. A few people were late (being at the mercy of Merseyside's erratic bus service). When everyone was present, we did a quick run-through of the jobs that needed doing, allocating jobs to team members.

MEETING GUESTS AT DOOR: Perry, Lewis, Ryan, Ant
SIGNING IN GUESTS: Matty, Jane
SHOWING GUESTS AROUND: Me, Dave, Katie, Anna
TEA/COFFEE DUTIES: Elysia, Laura
THE SPEECH: William

Here's how it went... )
kelzadiddle: (English is a Mugger)
Today was my third day of work with the ExtraCare Charitable Trust shop in Earlestown. In a nutshell, it's a voluntary job as a shop assistant, and I get to do everything from sorting clothes, to steaming them to make them look presentable, to storing them, to sticking them on the shop floor, to running the till... and there's probably more that I can't remember.

It's my Monday, Wednesday and Friday thing. Nine to five - and I believe I'm the only person who stays until the very minute the shop closes, other than the manager and deputy manager - and I bloody love it.

The work? Knackering, both physically and mentally. Carrying stuff to and fro all day gives you one hell of a workout. You haul huge plastic binbags full of clothes out of the stock room into the sorting room, spend an hour on your feet going through everything, tagging and hanging what's worth selling and binning what isn't. Then you haul them all into the steamer/kitchen area and spend a further hour steaming all the creases out of everything. Then, you have to haul it all upstairs, usually making several trips, to the storage rooms on the second floor. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Sound tiring to you? It bloody well is. And it's flipping fantastic.

You see, it keeps you on your feet. There's always something to do. You're always moving about, carrying things, so you get a bit of exercise. And it's a challenge to the mind in some ways because of the complex sorting and pricing systems they've got going there. With clothes, you have to scrutinise them carefully for the slightest blemish. Marked ones get 'ragged', but the charity still receives money for scrapped clothing (50p per kilo).

For good clothes, you need to find a size, figure out whether it's been 'rotated' (sent in from another shop who's failed to sell it), and write all this down, along with the sort code (there's a different number for ladies' tops, ladies' trousers, menswear, kids' clothes, books, etc). Then you have to remember which hanger to use, remember to put a size cube on the hanger and actually tag the item. There's a lot to memorise, and when the process becomes second nature, things can be forgotten.

It's the same with running the till. There's this huge process you have to go through, and if you make a mistake, the till screams - quite literally - at you. If you press the 'cash total' button too early, for instance, it beeps loudly. And the method's slightly different when people pay via. card. I learned this the hard way the other day when I inadvertently created an anomaly in the shop's books - which Dawn the manager had to rectify with a call to the Head Office. Er - oops. Sorry, Dawn!

There's always something to do. We get loads of bags of donations every day, so there's those to be sorted. If not, there's tidying to be done in the stock room, on the shop floor - anywhere in the shop, really! Or, if you're a nutter like me who loves making tea/coffee for people, there's that to be done.

So, it keeps me busy, it hones my organisational skills, keeps me mentally alert, teaches me to socialise... and then there's the 25% discount and first pickings of anything that comes into the shop! Huzzah!

Speaking of which, I brought three more lovely items home today, all clothing. Two tops and a hat.

In which Kelza goes on a ramble about what we all know is the main reason why she loves her job... )
kelzadiddle: (Kevin Ayers Still Life With Guitar)
In a twist of fate most cruel, I posted a reply to a comment regarding anti-virus (in response to my entry about the recent ThinkPoint conundrum), and immediately afterwards, something popped up.

Damn you, ThinkPoint! Isn't it obvious that you aren't wanted, you pitiful, greasy little bastard? Get off my shiny new computer and perish in a thousand burning rubbish heaps! Then rub salt into your eyes whilst singing the French national anthem in Anglo-Norwegian! Then gamble away your life's savings (which you've no doubt pilfered off the good, honest and slightly more idiotic members of the Internet) betting on whether a guinea pig will explode on command! You are a pointless use of space! A waste of megabites! I detest you! Go away!

And choose somewhere quiet and remote to go away to. Like Svalbard, for example. No doubt they'll have use for you there.

So. To those of you who are slightly baffled by my sudden reversion to public blogging, I have decided to emerge from beneath my rock. It was difficult; with the weather being as it is I was frozen to the ground. I panicked for a bit, hoping my raw emotion would ionise the air or generate enough heat to set me free, but alas, no luck. I then made like an utter prat and used hot water. Which froze me even more.

Slightly defrosted a million years later, I realised what happened and bought without paying a crowbar from a passing lunatic, chiselled my legs free and then prised my arms off the ground, thus defying the laws of, frankly, everything and breaking reality as a result. My characters scoffed at me saying 'you're as bad as the rest of us!' and then I had them all perish in a fire. The fire was perfectly harmless, you understand, being made of words... to people, anyway. Huzzah!

I am now in the process of figuring out how to unperish all of my characters because without them, my career as a writer will go in the general direction of down the pan. And I hear the pan isn't a very nice place. Cholera, Mafia shootings and the like. It also vaguely resembles a toilet.

There's a lion behind this cut. And it's hungry. Happily, it's a vegetarian. Unfortunately for you, you're a leek. Happily, it doesn't like leek. Unfortunately for you, it's got naff eyesight and it thinks you're a carrot. And it loves carrots. )

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