Thursday, 20 January 2011

End of a chapter

Is this it?

Infamous words of Sir Bob Geldof as Live Aid came to an end. I found myself asking the same question this week as we finished the last Express residential for Platform2 volunteers.

Over the past three years we have sent almost 2000 young people overseas to volunteer in a developing country. They have returned fired up and ready to tell their story and share their experience.

I've lost count now of the number of times I have been held in a hug by a P2 volunteer as they tell me "you have changed my life". What an honour, what a privilege, what a job...

There have been enormous challenges. I'm not going to pretend it's been easy or that there haven't been times of absolute despair that we'd ever get to this point. But we did. Our evaluation was positive, our score was unprecedented, and tomorrow we plan to celebrate in style.

We'll showcase our work to Christian Aid in an exhibition and lunchtime event. Live performances, inspiring presentations, videos that I expect will make us laugh - and cry.

Then the team will glam up in black and white for the party to end all parties. Not a particularly glitzy venue and the budget is tight, but what's going to make it special is the amazing commitment of those who will be there.

I already saw that this week as I said thank you to my own existing team - all we did was drink hot chocolate and write a postcard to a colleague. But I don't think I am wrong in saying that there was a lot of love in that room and you really could feel it.

This is probably the first blog post that isn't primarily about my back. That feels like progress. It doesn't mean it is better - it is still bl&&dy painful if I am honest.

But it's about living in the present, about distraction, about taking each day, hour, minute at a time. Realising most of the time things are okay and when they are not there is help in the shape of pills, hot baths, water bottles, massage, and of course red wine ;-)

Looking forward to tomorrow so time to sleep. Please do comment - feels a bit lonely here even though I know many of you are reading :-) xxx

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