Tuesday 9 January 2018
Get Yourself Active volunteer, Iyiola reflects back on his time spent with Get Yourself Active over the past year.
Remember me! Almost a year ago I wrote a blog about my joining the Get Yourself Active project as a volunteer and shared with readers my expectations of being a volunteer and the warmth I felt from the entire DR UK team. It’s been a really good time this past year; I went back to part time work but retained my role as a volunteer once a week because I really like being at Get Yourself Active.
What does a day look like at DR UK?
I get in around 11am and I am usually ushered in by K-boss who then settles me in, collects my taxi receipts for Ben to reimburse me and then makes the glorious coffee… L-boss is also often at hand to ensure I am comfortable with the tasks assigned to me. I enjoy the conversations with other DR UK staff too, especially with Ken who frequently shares a joke or two with me – by the way Ken is a master coffee maker too!
So what have I been doing this past year?
It surely wasn’t all spent just drinking coffee…just joking; I have been doing a lot, a lot of fun stuff. I contributed a number of news articles and blogs on the GYA website and scheduled them for the project’s Twitter account. Learning to post articles and edit blogs was really empowering for me. In a previous career I put together e-newsletters and emailed them round to subscribers, but at GYA I was actually accessing the back end of the website and doing the technical tasks. For example, I learnt how to post articles and incorporate pictures in them and I also learnt how to link these stories to twitter. In the past few weeks I have also been helping Kate, who runs the Get Out Get Active project, to transcribe audio feedback and evaluation of her project. The process involves attentive listening which can sometime be frustrating, but in the end it has enhanced my communication skills – and we all know listening is huge part of a person’s communication skills.
The highlight of the year for me however was being involved in the ‘GYA on Tour’ series. The events were held in cities and regions across England and focused on lessons learnt so far, what is working and can be improved, and also what the sport, leisure and physical activities providers require to enable them engage effectively with disabled people. I really felt valued when I was asked whether I would like to participate and help out – of course my answer was yes and within days found myself in Peterborough to participate at the event there. I also participated at the event in London where I helped register people and provided my insight as a disabled person at one of the workshop tables.
As the project moves into the New Year I have told Leanne and Kirsty that I am happy to continue this journey with them and together champion the inclusion of disabled people in all community activities including sports, leisure and physical activities.
Finally as my latest photo show, I have grown a beard in solidarity with Ben and the operations manager!!!!