We started the year by saying goodbye to a number of members who have now moved on from the charity but signed up many replacements at the RUMS Fresher Fayre and the Paediatric Fayre. After running two successful training sessions we welcomed in the new volunteers and a few new children, whom we were excited to bring into Spectrum.
We decided to have our pairing session followed by a volunteer social with pizza so everyone could meet each other. This was a huge success and we were pleased everyone came and enjoyed themselves. A big thank you to Jessica (Social Officer) for organising and sorting out the pizza.
The year started off strong with a successful bake sale on December 7th. We raised over £180, to put towards expenses for the year, by selling cupcakes, brownies, cake and many more sweet treats. This wouldn’t have been possible without Khushboo’s (Fundraising Officer) organising, the whole committee coming together to run the stall throughout the day. As well as the support from some of the volunteers too.
Not long after, we decided that this year’s winter trip was going to be to the Science Museum. We thought this was a great opportunity for the volunteers and children to get together in a relaxed and fun setting. Felicity (Vice Chairperson) secured spots for us all to attend so gratitude to her! The timing worked out perfectly because they were having a day which limited the access to only a few people, meaning the queues were small, and also there were some special stalls with activities going on around the building as an added bonus. My favourite was watching the ‘magic bubbles’! After spending the morning going around we met up for a big lunch which the whole of the committee made sandwiches for.
One final social before the Christmas break was a meal at Vapiano’s. Although it was a small turn out, everyone who came had a fun time, relaxing and talking, while eating some scrumptious pizza and pasta.
After the holidays, all the volunteers began to settle into their roles with their children and we have heard lots of fun stories about the activities they have done throughout the year: from bowling to the library, to the London Eye to swimming. Meanwhile, the committee was busy organising this year’s Residential trip to Hindleap Warren. With the success of the last few years we were all looking forward to the trip.
Once again, Jess (Social Officer) was busy organising some well overdue t-shirts for all the volunteers. The shirts look very professional with the Spectrum logo and volunteer names on, plus the bright blue v-necks defintely stand out!
By the end of the Residential, I think we were all very tired but we were defintely not disappointed. The weather was cold but dry which is always a plus. We split into three groups and took turns working through an adventurous timetable of activities. Bushcrafts included tent building, fire making and hot chocolate drinking, while archery was indoors, allowing some of us to warm up just a little. Rock climbing, bouldering and zip wiring are always huge successes, giving people a massive adrenaline rush and, this year the centre had even opened up a new, much taller and challenging climbing wall. The obstacle course was surprisingly still muddy but the children loved it! If that wasn’t enough, in the evenings we organised an opportunity to go swimming and a movie night of Inside Out, complete with popcorn, biscuits and hot chocolate.
A big change this year is that we have moved to internet banking. After the success of last year’s big move from paper to the Google Drive, we decided to go even greener and cut out more paper. Marcus (Vice Chairperson) and Hao Meng (Treasurer) were monumental in securing this new method. It wasn’t the easiest process but with perseverance and sheer will we finally got there in the end…but it was a long process. Now volunteers will be able to be reimbursed much quicker so that we can continue to take our children on exciting day adventures.
Before the busiest time of the year for medical student started – exam period – we held our Annual General Meeting (AGM) where we talk about the successes and failures of the year, improvements for the next year and finally elect the new committee. This year, roles were very popular and many positions were very close in the voting.
Before we said hello to the summer, we had just enough time for one final group trip. This year we decided the summer trip would be the annual picnic at a local park. Although a lot of people were busy, the people that came had a great time!
On a final note, please wish the new committee luck. I am sure that they will do a great job running Spectrum for the next year! Until later, we wish you the best summer and hope to see everyone again soon.
– Hannah (Media and Communications Officer 2015-2016)