Friday, November 21, 2014

Volunteering with Yellow Submarine: six months on

As I read my earlier post about volunteering with Yellow Submarine again, the first thing that struck me -- well, the second thing, 'cause I had a huge grin on my face again after reading those holiday highlights -- was how little things have changed in the last six months.

People who know me will be scratching their heads -- in many ways, the last six months have seen more change in my life than in any other, or certainly since childhood -- but what I mean to say is in how I feel about the work I do with Yellow Submarine. In fact, it's inspired me to commit to finding full-time work in social care. And I say that with my feet firmly on the ground.

Certainly the rose-coloured glasses can be seen in that earlier post. I've since spoken to many people in social care, of course, and at least a few have tried to (gently!) point out that all the foibles of the world are represented in those we care for. (Of course!) Still, I maintain that were the proportion of kindness and generosity I've seen amongst those I've supported also true of the wider world, we would hardly recognise it.

And that's where I want to end this post (again): highlighting a few of the amazing people I've had the good fortune to meet through working with Yellow Submarine -- on ten holidays now, and many day activities -- and my local Mencap group:
A gift from Spa Club K.
  • K. might've been born at a music festival, he was so at home during WOMAD. I'll never forget our walk to the main site one morning: suddenly K. has left the path, only to return with a wonderfully-costumed young lady in matching hoop skirt and parasol on his arm, looking pleased as punch.
  • Just last week, I was lucky enough to meet D. as part of Yellow Submarine's Compass Project. We must've been chatting off 'n' on for close to an hour before he let drop that he was in a documentary; such an amazing person, and so modest! (It's called Ups of Downs, embedded below.)
  • And last, but certainly not least, is K., from my local Mencap group (known as the Spa Club). He's a bit of a Renaissance man: he draws, paints, acts, runs half-marathons, keeps bees, will soon be coaching football... Rarely a week goes by that I'm not flabbergasted, learning of his latest project or yet another of his past pursuits. And then, the other week, he presented me with a drawing he'd made, for me.
I actually cannot express what this all means to me. I just feel... honoured to be a part of it.