It probably sounds a bit dramatic to start off my first blog post by stating that working with EduCrate has changed my life –but it’s true! I’m the newest trustee to join the team and didn’t even know who EduCrate were until Christmas just gone. And since then, my life has just been a whirlwind. Working with this group of fun, passionate and engaging individuals has rejuvenated me and brought me back to working in area I have always been interested in, but never quite seemed to find the time to do.
A chance encounter in a pub during my work Christmas party is how I got involved. I got talking to a friendly trustee and found out about EduCrate and the great work they were doing. I have worked in international schools’ partnerships before. I was part of a big British Council project linking schools in Brighton and Hove with schools in Malawi. I spent time visiting schools in the capital of Lilongwe and building up links between the schools. We hosted visitor teachers back from Lilongwe schools back over here and it was an amazing thing to be part of. But then I moved jobs, had a baby, got a promotion…. life got in the way and I didn’t think about it for a while. However, I’d always missed it and wanted to do more.
I remember going to my first meeting as an ‘EduMate’. I was so scared. I knew one of the trustees fairly well but I was petrified he wouldn’t be there and I’d make a fool of myself. Or everyone would hate me. It sounds silly now looking back on it. I’m an educated professional. I talk to big groups of people everyday as part of my job but I was scared of walking into a pub to talk to a small group of like-minded individuals. I nearly turned back a hundred times. But I didn’t. I ended up having a great time, laughing and joking with some great people and becoming more and more interested in what they were doing.
It grew from there really. As an EduMate I’ve done some strange things from sourcing fruit and water for a football tournament; schmoozing bands to get them to play at EduFest; getting my class to make bunting; packing crates; and developing schemes of work for UK schools to use to learn more about the project. I couldn’t stop being involved and was thrilled when Jemma asked if I’d consider being a trustee to work on building the school links. Again, that was another scary meeting where I had to present myself to the group. But they – no we- aren’t that scary and really rely on volunteers to help build EduCrate into something fantastic.
I love being involved. I’ve met an amazing group of people who I admire greatly. We work hard but play hard too and it’s opened my eyes to some fantastic things! I’ve helped put on a music festival on a beach and most recently spent the night watching ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to write clues for a treasure hunt round Brighton. How often do you say this is part of your life? I’m inspired again and really believe in our mission to help empower students.
You might not want to do as much as me. We’re all rushed off our feet and have complicated lives. I’m as busy as the next person but it’s a better busy now –rather than just looking at shoes and make-up on the internet. Come to a meeting and see what we’re all about and tell us what you have to offer. I promise I’ll smile at you at your first meeting- I know how scary it is!
Naomi –new trustee on the block!
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