Tuesday, 2 February 2016

From Burns to the Blog | A special CHANGES Volunteers Get Together

From Burns to the Blog | A special CHANGES Volunteers Get Together

Hello and welcome to the very special CHANGES Musselburgh edition of the #Daneyblogs.

This blog will be a fun review of the fantastic volunteer’s event held on Friday 29th. It will tell you more about who CHANGES are, what my role is with them, why they have a special place in my heart and of course…. how I introduced social media to them through a comical  game of ‘Burns & Blogs’ bingo…

First of all….who are CHANGES?

CHANGES Community Health Project are a Health & Well-Being focussed charity based in Musselburgh > http://changeschp.com/. They are celebrating their 20 year anniversary this year and just keep getting bigger and better!

 Check out the following #CHANGESFacts:

·         CHANGES open their doors to over 70 dedicated volunteers year in year out (psst! they do have room for more if you want to volunteer with a brilliant charity > email info@changeschp.co.uk )

·         CHANGES have 7 well-respected board members who have been with the organisation for a number of years

·         CHANGES run  an exciting range of courses/ programmes from well-being walks to singing for fun- check out the list here > https://changeschp.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/jan-mar-programme-sheet-20161.pdf

So Dane… what is it you do with CHANGES?

CHANGES Community Health Project holds a very special place in my heart both personally and professionally.

Personally, they’ve really been there for me when I’ve been down and struggling to cope with life’s pressures. I attended their fantastic First Steps Towards Positive Mental Health & Wellbeing course, and found it to be positively life-changing. I was in attendance with warm, friendly, caring people and could talk openly about what mattered with a comforting chocolate biscuit (who doesn’t love a chocolate biscuit!). I found that having such a positive place to go to when things were on a downward spiral at the time, was just a real help to me..

Professionally, they’ve opened their minds, hearts and door to me and allowed me to use my PR and Social Media skills with them to both develop myself whilst on the job hunt as well as take charge developing their social media presence (as their Social Media Guidance Officer). Speaking of social media … Check out CHANGES out on Twitter > @changes_muss and keep your eyes peeled for the fully launched Facebook page CHANGES Community Health Project coming VERY soon.

So tell us more about the Volunteers night….

As a thank you to us volunteers for all our hard work with CHANGES, the staff decided to organise a fabulous Scottish themed Volunteers Get Together at the lovely wee Inveresk Bowling Club filled with fun, food and certificates of thanks to each of us.

We had the wonderfully talented piper David Spiers who kicked off and closed the great evening: Check out his website here for more details:  http://davidspiers.com/davidspiers.html

There was fantastic, traditional Scottish music provided by the East Lothian Fiddles who had us dancing all night:  

There was even delicious food provided by PIMM’s Outdoor Bar Services (from traditional Haggis to stunning tasting Curry… we were spoiled for choice) | Check out their website here: www.outdoorbarservices.co.uk

We had a Scottish quiz (which my team the ‘Bingo Callers’ lost….but never mind…you can’t win them all ;)) and there was even a game of ‘Burns & Blogs’ social media bingo hosted by yours truly (with my lovely assistant Beth Ekman, CHANGES Volunteer Co-ordinator)


So…. I thought it would be a really fun and engaging way to introduce social media with a game of bingo and call it ‘Burns & Blogs’ (see what we did there!).

To keep in with the Scottish theme, we decided (Beth and I) to mix Scottish words in with social media words, all with basic definitions on the back of the sheet so everyone knew what was what..

…the sheets were ready to go, the crowd were ready for the bingo (with their eyes on the chocolate prizes)… and I was armed with my slips to read out and had my puns and laughs at the ready….

Only one problem I didn’t anticipate…. everyone had the EXACT same sheet…. So as I read out…. everyone shouted BINGO at the SAME time!

We all giggled, we all made jokes and most importantly, we all had a great time during it. I flashed my smile, kept my cool and just laughed.
One woman (a fellow CHANGES volunteer) approached me and said “oh son, that was honestly the best game eh bingo I’ve ever played” which was really touching.

CHANGES have played a great part in helping me laugh and see the funny side of life again. They’re a fantastic organisation and I’m eternally grateful for everything they’ve done for me.