New Year : Back to the coalface
Salford, 4th September
I’m sat down having Just got home from the Imperial war museum, in Manchester, where i’ve been helping out in the galleries, helping people around.
In this role , i’m occasionally stood by the information station, where various objects to do with the first and second world war are on display
This station is mobile and can move around with its four wheels, around the vast area known as the main exhibition space.
The objects on the information station vary, from gas masks to various headgear, and relate to the large objects around the space. There are uniforms from modern day conflict as well as those from world war I and II. As Volunteers, we use the items to introduce visitors to the space as well as putting them at ease with the space they are in – It’s a bit dark in there sometimes.
Salford, 29th June 2017
New day, new morning, New opportunity.
Granted, it might not be paid. But I’m working with some great people
I’m approaching my new role with little baby steps (odd for a 40-odd yr old) and all with a smile!
taking and delivering orders, brewing cuppas, washing pots and pans and waiting tables
all in the familiar surroundings of the Brain & Spinal Injury Centre in Salford.
Processes ? learning how to turn on the cafeteiere (posh machine for heating the brews) and mastering the art of the till have been difficult – but i’ve managed!
even down to the zen mastery, that is how others have their brews….
and for Those wondering if i’ve kicked my museum work into touch – you need not worry – i’ll be back there on Monday!
Salford 5th January 2017
This afternoon, I’ve been helping out at Imperial War Museum North just over the bridge from Salford, by the banks of the Manchester ship canal.
Regular readers will know I help out with the computers on the “Your History” information point and throughout the Main exhibition space. Well, Today I’ve been directing visitors by the special gallery and giving assistance where necessary.
The special gallery covers the time in British history where clothes were rationed, in order to preserve fuel and resources during war time.
As part of the exhibition – a special handling collection has been created, by some of the volunteers with help from the museum staff. This is shown on our Information station, where volunteers and veterans talk about specific objects and the tales behind them.
I’m a martyr to my aches and pains
I Really Despise that phrase with a passion.
There’s a reason for this. Firstly, when I was born (a month early – apparently), I didn’t ask for the conditions that were thrown at me.
I’m split – in some ways – in the fact that without the installation of the Shunt Valve in my head – to treat Hydrocephalus – I’d either be dead, or be unable to walk and function properly. I’ve learned to live with the occasional involuntary throwing up, the balance problems, the toilet thing and the difficulties with my co-ordination…and oh..er…what’s that other thing again? Memory!! (Ha Ha!)
However, its a pain in the backside on a regular basis.
Add in the Cerebral Palsy (YES, I walk a bit funny) and there are days I Really feel like staying in bed….the Juvenile Arthritis (Nothing Juvenile about it) was a nice touch delivered from the orthopaedic clinic
Anky…losing …Spondy….litis ….. the rheumatic disease thats doing its best to fuse my back together….whoopee.
If I do moan however – its because i’m in REAL pain, and on those days – i’ll stay in bed to recouperate
How do I keep going…..? Keeping occupied 😁
The Government of my country felt the need to Park me recently from doing any Paid work, (mainly down to the Memory thing). But that hasn’t stopped me from ‘working’. A Number of organisations (Sporting and Museum – based) would be screaming blue murder if I were ever to say I were unavailable….
Now though – its as if they think i’m putting this on….
Someone in Governance in the UK said “Everyone should be working” – It must have impressed the head honcho – it got them a seat with a title in the Upper House of Parliament.
I don’t think their agents read the script – no body at the job centre actually read my skillset / need assessment from disability services. If they want me to work – brilliant, I’ll start tomorrow…just as long as I get some support in what i’m doing.
(Cue the theme to Mission impossible)
But for now, I’ll just get on with my photography, my blogging, helping out at the sports arena and war museum and (if they want me) events in the area
Anyone without a disability/condition want to call themselves a martyr? Feel free to contact me, there’s thousands more worse off than me – and they’re getting attacked too – by individuals who really should know better.
I’m just getting on with the day on an hourly basis – i’m no martyr – don’t call me one.
Salford August 2012
There have been a number of camps throughout the city, hosting athletes from many nations and in many sports in relation to the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
Brazil were no different, and used venues up and down the city from the Regional Athletic Arena at Sportcity to the Manchester Aquatics centre on Oxford Road. Athletes also trained at the Amechi Centre for wheelchair basketball as well as Manchester Metropolitan University’s Sugden Sports Centre – who hosted athletes
for wheelchair fencing, Boccia, and Sitting Volleyball.
A couple of the vollies (including me) had fond memories of the training camp venues, as they’d been used at the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and also at prestige sporting events throughout the ten years leading up to the Olympics in London in 2012.
Now it’s not that the sport of Sitting Volleyball was new to me – I’d been part of the team that helped out when they hosted a Challenge match as part of the BT Paralympic world cup. Upon hearing this news – the Volunteer Manager made me Team Leader for the Sitting Volleyball Squad!
In my role as Volunteer Team Leader, I assisted with court setup and aided the vollies on the Volleyball courts in the fine arts of the rules of the game and where we fitted in – in relation to the game and training – simply put “passing the ball back!” when instructed.
And the game was fast paced – the ball was constantly moving – if it wasn’t in the hands of the retrievers! As part of my role – I was also became custodian for the volleyballs and the scoring system – putting them back in storage every day.
The Brazil team were warm and friendly visitors to the centre and were brilliant to help out. At set times, the Brazil teams played Paralympics GB in a series of Warm up games – which we also helped as ball crew.
As reward for our efforts, each volunteer got a “Teamwork” Baton from LOCOG – London’s Organising Committee for the Paralympics.
All the volunteers were welcomed and thanked by the Manchester Management of London 2012, and I raised a smile when the Brazil Team headed up the Opening Ceremony at Rio 2016….
I worked with some of those guys….:)
Photos of my time at the training camp are at http://www.flickr.com/photos/inkdropk/sets/72157631198677864/
Hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them
Written by Brian F Kirkham in response to the Daily post
Manchester 2012 – The Olympic Year
They turned up in their hundreds
to serve those landing in the city
to train, prepare and take part
in the pursuit of Gold, Silver and Bronze
Each with their individual role
A happy audience – the ultimate goal
Making sure the fans made their way to the game
Safe with a smile – that was the aim
Colourful characters – lining the street
a parade of marshals – who could not be beat
as fans from the world – arrived at a ground
and wanted to know how to get around
Cogs in the machine – with pointers and maps
Happy as one – helpful ladies and chaps
Treating the fans as welcomed guests
A team of vollies – that were the best
other vollie views :
Friday 17th June 2016
Imperial War Museum North (Red Room)
Another meeting of the Choir today, after our round robin performances at IWM North, Manchester Art Gallery and Manchester Museum.
There must have been something in the air today, in that we were a little reduced in number – but the enthusiasm of the group wasn’t tempered.
We concentrated on two numbers today, All above my head and All around – concentrating on a few changes to the way we sung it at previous performances.
11th June 2016
Manchester Museum, Oxford Rd. Manchester
The third of the performances on the volunteer choir took place yesterday in the surroundings of Manchester Museum on Oxford Road.
We performed on the Gallery steps at the main entrance to the museum, singing the three songs we’ve practiced and performed in the run up at IWM North and Manchester Art Gallery – Stevie Wonder’s Signed Sealed Delivered, Mary Mary’s Shackles, and Isreal Houghton’s All Around.
The performances were all part of the Volunteer Week Celebrations, which celebrated volunteering throughout the UK.
and as I posted from the toolshed upon my return
Back from Manchester Museum – and another storming performance by the volunteer choir!
Sunday 22nd May 2016
Location : Old Trafford, Manchester.
Today I’ve been doing a spell of volunteering with Sale Harriers.
I’ve been marshalling the Great Manchester Run…its been wonderful watching the runners on the Old Trafford Stretch of the course passing Manchester Utd! The weekend began at the other side of the city with the Mini and Junior Run around the Etihad Campus (Sportcity)
Even though they were hit by everything the Manchester weather could hit them with – We even had some Sun!!! The race had its elite element with some of the worlds best long distance runners in the Elite Mens and Women’s races. But it was watching the charity runners that did it for me. Not at least, the runners running for Salford’s Brain and Spinal injury charity. I could have sworn a pack of imperial stormtroopers passed me more than once 🙂 Hope the charity runners raised loads of cash for their chosen charities.
P.S. I’ve read somewhere the runners were happy with their tee shirt this year – well, as a marshal i’m really happy with this years kit…a weatherproof jacket I can wear after the event without feeling like an advertisement board!