Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pip Wisdom.

Greenbelt Festival - refreshing your soul & feeding your whole .....

Just one sleep to go

Tomorrow, we’ll welcome thousands to Greenbelt 2016 : Silent Stars. 
Our online Box Office is now closed. But you can still buy all types of tickets from our onsite Box Office when you arrive.


    For those already committed to coming (thanks!) and for those still wavering, here's a reminder of just how wild and wonderful this year's lineup is. Browse by day and genre. Day-by-day highlights are here.

    Festival App

    If planning ahead is your thing, you can download our Festival App for iOS or Android. (Please note: the App isn’t being updated after its release.)


    Here's a short film to give you a sense of what to expect when arriving by Shuttle Bus or into day parking at Festival Reception. It takes you from that arrival point and right down, into and through the Festival Village.
      And here's one for those arriving into weekend parking, showing you wristband exchange and the journey down into the main camping fields.

      So, it's time to festival again ... but remember

      • It can get cold at night. Bring warm clothes.
      • All we have to light us at night are silent stars. Bring torches.
      • It might rain a bit. Bring waterproof clothing.
      • There might be hold-ups on your journey. Check travel websites. 
      • Be patient as you arrive and pace yourself unloading and setting up. 

      Essential Information

      All you need to know about coming to the Festival can be found in our Essential Information here.

      Don’t forget, under our Licence provisions, you cannot access the Boughton Estate tomorrow before 10am. Please don’t arrive before then.

      The silent stars teach us that there is a longer history.
      Slow down, take time, breathe deep.

      Blob Tree Materials present the 'Blob Schools Collection' = 47 different communication tools for schools.

        A selection of blob scenes that include a Schools theme.
        Available as single Blob scenes, DIRECT LINK to an item by clicking on name below.

        Wednesday, August 24, 2016

        LATEST VACANCIES Nationwide - please let them be known.


        A run-down homeless hostel that had been a magnet for drug dealing and anti-social behaviour.

        When I tell people that I run a charity, they often assume that I spend my time wandering around like Mother Teresa, ministering to the destitute while uttering the occasional profundity. The reality is that I spend much of my day answering emails, stuck in meetings, and playing around with spreadsheets trying to turn figures from red to black. Most of the beneficiaries of our charity wouldn’t link the benefit they’ve gained to the rather stressed bloke in a suit who they see running in and out. 

        One thank you – and my career helping homeless people was worthwhile

        But Tracey-Anne was different. She was a young woman with a difficult family history who’d come to this country from Jamaica, via Canada, only to find herself unemployed and homeless when relationships broke down. And so she found herself at YMCA Birmingham’s scheme for young people, The Orchard. Her initial few weeks with us did not go well. There were repeated altercations with staff and a number of complaints from other residents about her behaviour. But most of all she refused to engage with the raft of services aimed at getting young people into employment and secure, permanent accommodation.

        The Orchard had replaced a run-down homeless hostel that had been a magnet for drug dealing and anti-social behaviour. When I announced my intention to build a modern, state-of-the-art facility, linked to relevant services that would help people to live independently, there were plenty of folk who said it wouldn’t work. It took five years to replace the hostel and a further five years to put in place the range of services we knew were needed. And all the time people were muttering behind their hands that we had embarked on a fool’s errand – the whole scheme was hopelessly idealistic and expected far too much of young people. But I knew that we were right to try. And I also knew that if we could make The Orchard work for someone like Tracey-Anne, it really was capable of working for any young person.

        Eventually Tracey-Anne began to calm down and take up some of the opportunities on offer; she turned up to her weekly keywork sessions and developed her own personal action plan. Then she went on our employability programme, after which she volunteered to work on our corporate reception for eight weeks while undergoing further job preparation training.

        Volunteers and charity workers: tell us about the day you made a difference
        A few months later, I was invited to speak at a national conference about The Orchard. It took place at a major conference venue here in Birmingham. I outlined the vision for the scheme and what we’d done. At the end of my presentation, the inevitable question came: “That all sounds great, but what evidence have you got that it’s actually worked?”

        “Well,” I replied, “you know the young woman who greeted you today on reception? The professional-looking lady who showed you where to go and calmly handled any queries you raised? Well her name’s Tracey-Anne and she lives at The Orchard and she got a full-time, permanent job here on the back of the training and volunteering opportunities we offered.”

        I hadn’t known Tracey-Anne would be there until I saw her that morning; I didn’t even know she’d got a permanent job. But she recognised me and was so enthusiastic about where her life was heading it made me realise that the previous 10 years of hard work had all been worth it.

        The day I made a difference is the Guardian Voluntary Sector Network’s series that showcases the work of people involved with charities. If you have a story you want to share email with a short summary of your experience.

        by Alan Fraser
        CEO of YMCA Birmingham.UK


        Some music for you - Secret Archives of the Vatican

        Secret Archives of the Vatican have been making their own distinctive brand of what they call Transglobal Breakbeat Dub Science for a few years now - drumstep, dubstep and glitchy electronica influences mixed with their trademark Eastern-inflected sound. They produce fine podcasts to shamelessly pimp their music by associating it with other people's excellent tunes. 
        Sometimes they pretend to be DJs and produce mixes.