I've mentioned once on the blog before and oh so many times on Twitter, that back at the end of May, I joined the Prince's Trust Team Programme. So I thought I'd write a few posts about my experience, as it was such a big part of my life for 3 months and has made such a impact on me and has helped me in so many ways, I'd like to share my experience to you lovely readers and maybe there's a few of you out there that want to join...which I encourage you to do wholeheartedly.
So go grab yourself a beverage of choice and something to nom on (go on, treat yourself!), this is gonna be a long post!
I made the decision to start the programme through the advice of a couple of friends at the time and I was fed up of feeling like I was doing nothing with my life. I was stuck on Job-seeker's (Still am, but hopefully that will change very soon) getting nowhere with my job searching. I was also struggling to motivate myself and manage my mental health, I had starting harming myself again and wanted something to pull me out the black-hole I could feel myself slipping into.
So I joined the Prince's Trust Team Programme. When I started I didn't know what to expect, I knew a few people who had done it and they had told me how much they had enjoyed the programme and how much it had done for them. So I went in to my first day feeling excited but at the same time very anxious. Especially since week 2 of the programme was a residential week. Which would excite a lot of people, but for me it meant being away from home and my friends & family for a week...I could barely manage a day away at that moment in time!
Week One was about getting to know each other and planning for our residential. My team was a lovely group of individuals, a mix of people from different backgrounds and situations which gave us all a chance to mix with people we wouldn't normally socialise with etc, it was a challenge for some but that was the point behind the team building games our Team Leader Bob, made us do. To get us out of our comfort zones and working together to become a strong team ready for residential. I made friends with a few people in the group, which made the idea of being away with a group of pretty much strangers for a week a little less daunting.
The rest of week one was planning for the Resi, which actually helped calm my nerves for the week ahead as the more I got stuck into planning it the more exciting about going to it! Week 2 dawned bright and early on the Monday, I hadn't slept much the night before because as it got closer the nerves kicked back in and plus I did my usual 'leave it all to the last minute' thing with packing!
Our residential was in beautiful Brecon, Wales. I've only ever been Wales once before but I've been in love with the country ever since then so was looking forward to going back there and exploring somewhere new! And I wasn't disappointed with the beauty of the place, we were staying in a converted barn surrounded by mountains and fields...it was breathtaking! As soon as I was there, the majority of my anxiety about being away just melted away...there's something about being surrounded by such natural beauty when your used to the greys of the city, that calms me down instantly.
The residential was without a doubt, one of the main highlights of the course for me and such a great way to start the course...our team bonded and supported each other the whole way throughout the week. The week sadly didn't start perfectly, as a few people did have to be sent home for their behaviour but despite this the rest of us powered through and became a stronger team before. The week was a jammed pack week of activities designed to challenge us and push us out of comfort zones, starting with a lovely evening around a camp fire with S'mores and hot chocolate. We also went kayaking and canoeing, I decided to do the kayaking as I've never tried it before and wanted to challenge myself and push myself out of my comfort zone of only trying things I know...and I loved it! I zoomed off happily, like a fish to water ironically! And I'm hoping to join a Kayaking club locally sometime soon as I really enjoyed myself and want to do it more regularly!
The most anticipated part of the whole week was the mountain climb, we had all heard so much about it from the Leaders and old team members and we wanted to be Bob's first team to make it to the very top! The day started off miserable and rainy, but we were determined to get as far up as we possibly could. It was a challenging climb, even for those of us that enjoyed mountain climbing. For those of us who didn't enjoy mountain climbing or had never done it before, it was a lot more challenging but we encouraged each other up the mountain each step of the way, Even when one of our team members got quite scared and wanted to go back to the cabin, we worked together as a team to work out a solution that would help them and still help the rest of us reach our goal of getting up the mountain. We didn't make it completely up to the top due to weather and time, but it was an amazing climb and such beautiful views all the way up and especially at the top!
The final day of Resi was probably my least favourite simply because the activities. It was a great day, I don't like heights and falling from heights (even with support ropes and great team members making sure I don't fall) so this was a daunting day for me...crossing over a river on ropes and climbing up a tree using a very small ladder...terrifying for me! But the other team members were amazing, supporting me and each other through each activity till the day came to an end and we were all knackered but feeling proud of everything we had managed to achieve that day and over the week!
The final day ended with a lovely presentation which was both funny and emotional, by the amazing duo that helped us every step of the way through the week of activities they had planned for us, Pete & Rach from OceanRock Adventure. The week wouldn't have been the same without their amazing energy and support, and I hope one day my path crosses with them again! They run a outdoor adventure and team building company together, so if you ever fancy an adventure weekend or looking to book your work's next team building day...look them up first! www.oceanrockadventure.co.uk/
The Resi week was an amazing experience, from the activities in the day to the evenings relaxing, cooking and bonding as a team over shared interests and playing cards. It was a week I'd happily relive again. and It challenged me and the team so much...pushing us out of comfort zones we didn't want to leave but in the end we were so glad that we did!
My next post will be about week 3-6, which was planning and fundraising for our amazing community project and doing the project itself!
Till the next time,