After the school run, I went to the Barnwood Trust HQ at Ullenwood Manor, between Gloucester and Cheltenham. (An interesting journey at the moment, with roads closed for floods here and there.) I did better than Wednesday's trip to see Ana Biurrunritz, who is compiling stories from recipients of Small Sparks grants. It took me an hour and a half then as I drew a sketch map and didn't think to add more routes in case of floods. Of course, the road that I wanted to take was flooded, so I had to improvise, ran out of fuel, found a petrol station but the pumps weren't working, ducked into Cheltenham, borrowed a map from a very helpful chap in a garage, got directions, and made it in time for home made cake, Fair Trade tea and an enjoyable meeting with Ana. (That's my kind of organisation. I mean Organisation. I could do with slightly better organisation, personally speaking.) You can read about the story on the Your Welcome website.
Today, I had two reasons to visit again, besides just the excellent tea and cake. I went to see the grants manager, who has very kindly been helping to fast track a second Small Sparks application for Oakdale Links to train me in bee-keeping. We don't know yet if we've got an award, so I'm looking forward to hearing some positive news on Monday - particularly as the course starts on Monday night! The second reason I was there today was to attend one of the splendid free courses that Barnwood have organised. Today's was on 'Discovering your personal strengths' and they sent us a link beforehand so that we could come with some ideas.
I hadn't done my homework when I started the course, so had to guess, but had all of these as my top five in any case. I don't know what that shows, but it was interesting that none of us attending could put down 'Self-control' (they could have just counted the biscuits before and after to gauge that). What interested me most was the attributes that I wouldn't have considered to be a strength really before today. I think it helped me appreciate how to value the differences in our team on the committee here and hopefully how to recognise those strengths out in everyone. My top five were Creativity, Humour, Love of Learning, Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence and Bravery. I'll go through it with the Safety Officer tomorrow. And the gerbils.
If you want to have a go yourself, please do. ( http://www.viame.org/www/) We would love to know the results as well if you want to share them, especially if you are interested in any of the projects on the CONNECT survey or want to share your own ideas with us.
Find out more about the Barnwood Trust Learning Program on their website.
Oh, and just because it's Valentine's Day, here's a song for all my friends and family.