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EVS in BEES, October 2011 to August 2012 Bradford, region Yorkshire (England) Monte Ribalta Arias

INTRODUCTION I would like to explain how was my experience EVS in BEES. I had done a lot of things, I had meet a lot of people, I had learnt and discovered a lot of knowledge…. I can not said all things. But with this report I would like show you one representative week. Firstly I will start to describe the organisation where I had worked and staff from it. Bradford Environmental Education Service is the environmental department of City of Bradford YMCA. They offer a broad range of environmental education opportunities to young people, individuals, community groups, schools and businesses; enabling and inspiring people to make a positive contribution to their local environment, develop skills and explore the natural environment. They born 25 years ago! Nowadays, BEES have 5 staff. They are: Amanda, Julia, Nick, Rob and Rachel. And sometimes they are more because they receive volunteer from EVS program, like me (Montse)!!! Or from GlobalXchange, and this year we had had the company of Nat and Mel. In Culture Fusion, my colleges from EVS (Mathilde and Maira) visit my project

In the photos are, start from right to left: Rachel, she is a pacient person. She works from Community Space Challenge. Is a project inside of BEES. I had worked with her in Horton Park and different places from her area. We had planted, teached Spanish… Rob, he is the youngest staff! He works from CSC, like Rachel, but he has another area. I had worked with him in Palz Fagley and Horton Park. Nick, he is my mentor! I can’t said nothing bad from him!!! :P Anyway… he is a brilliant person. He teaches me skills, secrets from projects, a lot of things!! I had worked with him in Thorpe Edge Community Garden, in Conservation Task, in Residential, in Y’up… Amanda, she likes move plants all the times! :) I had worked with her in Wildlife Field Visits, in Greengates with the children, in Conservation task (I had done a competition to dicover who have more dirty face from charcoal) Julia, she is the veteran from the team. I had worked with her in a lot of place because she is like angel is in everywhere! Nat and Mel, They were here with us during three month from GlobalXchange program. They are very nice! Finally… me! I’m Montse, volunteer from the world, exactly I had borned in Spain. And I had spend mostly time during 9month from my EVS in BEES… and sometimes I had discovered Leeds and around and I had received My parents and staff from BEES together in City Square, visit from my family and friends! Bradford

On Monday In the morning, we start the first day from the week. Normally on Monday no there isn’t a specific project. So I spend time in the office to do some staff here. But who now what will be each Monday? Sometimes it’s necessary spend time in the office, because we need to update website, and we need to register new volunteers, to register activities, to do some report, to investigate about other organisation or staff or learning… administrative tasks and to put order in the under croft, exactly in biggest shed!! But, mostly on Monday could be a surprise, because when you already to do office-staff suddenly some staff ask you “Do you want to come with me to do….?”, You response to his o her “Why not? I can do this other day!” And you go outside in a part from thousand activities that BEES has. Like a project did about to create

cohesion between the children from Fagley Centre with people live in zone residential Foston Close; go a meeting with Council, School and BEES, they want to deliver what can do about make attractive the park around the school; planting in some community; to go a meeting to create or carry on a project...

I was working with my colleges from Catalonia and finally we had dione a small and big project with BEES and IPCENA (Institució de Ponent per la Conservació i l’Estudi de l’Entorn Natural). The objective is to interchange culture, experience and volunteer between organisation. And this summer, some volunteer from BEES are coming to residential in Catalonia!! Amazing!! I hope that this project will continue in the future.

On Tuesday Other project from BEES does on Tuesday...BEES hosts a Wildlife Field Visit Programme throughout the year. The programme aims to explore a range of habitats to study their natural history and management issues relating to their upkeep. The programme is organised and delivered by a committed and knowledgeable group of volunteers. Planning meetings are held regularly to agree and distribute the programme… I had went in three trips… I had enjoyed a lot!! It’s amazing this group of people that planning trips and go it. And they are expert of botanical or bird or geological…. I’m very surprise with this activity and I’m very glad to see that there are people (mostly they are old) have a lot of energy to do this kind of activity! And they have passion from nature!! I was thinking… in my future I will be like them? Could be! I had went to Colney Valley in Marsden, we sow birds and we felt a lot of cold and humidity as well!! I had went in a wonderful day to Flamborough and Bempton Cliffs (east cost), amazing view through the see and exceptional birds , this day I realise that in England there are see and sunny!! And the last trip was in a marvellous gardens and inside from Sizergh Castle, area close to Lake District; I liked because I learn more about staff from National Trust. Amazing the power that they have, the management from volunteer… it’s great learn from the people!

On Wednesday Today I’m going to schools!!!!! I need to said that here the schools are amazing!!! Mostly they have a big green area, they have a wonderful playground with a lot of things like climbing!! Add inside the school there are fantastic decoration from children make it. Frequently in the afternoon I go with Amanda and Collin (he is working from BCEP, but this is a project all together) to Greengates Primary School. We do some gardening, some planting, some pick up rubbish…. Different activities with each level course from school. The children are nice, sympathetic and friendly… in the beginning they had shame with me, and with my English was difficult understand them. But they helped me with the pronunciation. And I had enjoyed!! The last day, Sam, one children give me a green butterfly sticker….. I love this action.

Add there is another project in Horton Park. BEES want to involve the community in this park. BEES have accord with Council to do some planting in a park. So we started to do some session with the parents from Horton Park Primary School, to take ideas from them about what kind of plants want to plant. This part the project is stopped, because BEES needs that the Council clean the area, and after we can put the plants. But, Community Space Challenge (CSC) have a project with the schools (y3 and y4), that is to do sessions with them with objectives involve the children to make a survey and then this survey we will use to the community to take ideas from the park and after we will analysis and could be support to ask founding to the Council to do something to change in the park. Altogether is a brilliant idea and project! I had participated, and I liked! I had done “Spanish games and lessons”, because they were studying about Spain, so I had done some games to play and learn some words in Spanish. It was nice!

On Thursday BEES does amazing project in Thorpe Edge Community Garden. This community has a big green area, and we want to building a nice garden. This project there are collaboration from Student University (they did design), The Rockwell Centre and BEES. I had seen initial, translation project‌. I was surprise from organization team that we did (planning design, taking idea from the children, starting the design) , and after we had started to do the garden with volunteer from BEES and from de community, and now it needs continue. I’m thinking is a long project. I’m glad to collaborate in this project, I liked the party from the community, and I was very happy when I can buy in the shop from Roots&Fruts and when Julie, who is cooker from there, gives me a nice food to lunch!!

Selah sounds, lovely band!!

On Friday That’s the matter if will be raining, snowing, cloudy, sunny, windy… today is Conservation task project so, we go outside to work!!!! It’s incredible the task BEES does in this project. They have a good team volunteer, and they have a variability agenda. I like this day… I had discovered news areas and traditional methods like dry stone walling, hedging…;I had meet volunteer’ world from Bradford and UK, I had can speak with people, I had built up my muscles… it was a great time. Add it’s brilliant the work from BEES, they carry on a good way the volunteer group doing some Friday “Day out” and the “weekends residential”.

During weekend If you want there are a lot of activities from BEES or colleges organisation to be evolved with them. I was involved in the project Let’s do it!!! A big campaign around the world, to encourage the people to thinking about the ours rubbish!!!! I was involved in a Climate Week!! We did a Cycle see a film with powered by pedal power. Amazing documental….. We didn’t stop to pedalling! BEES do a project in Boars Well, the objective is management the area and encourage the people enjoy the park. So, on Saturday we did activities in the park, like treasure hunts, walk around and learn, crafts…. I went to two residential from BEES… It was exciting!! Learn about drystones walls under raining!! To cut big trees in a Nature Reserve, because we want to clean the area and it can become the same flora and fauna it was time ago, so path for butterfly. It’s great the team volunteer to cook a lunch, dinner, work, activities...


I had spent a great time in BEES. May be doesn’t look that I had learnt English….. Because in this report could be a lot of mistakes…. But I can said that I learn a little bit… :) Add the most important for me learn about life. So I had learnt language and culture English, from staff of BEES, from volunteers, from activities, from projects, from food, from beer, from sky…. I recognize that I had difficult moments because the language … but happy moments as well! So… thanks

a lot a all and everybody through for my way and to give me this time to learn! See you later, Montse

The end

My EVS experience in the UK by Montse  

My EVS experience in the UK by Montse

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