|Mudlarks Million Hands|
A Million Hands for Mudlarks
Great Amwell Scouts have been working with Mudlarks, a Hertford-based charity that helps adults with learning difficulties and mental health issues, as part of the Million Hands Challenge. “A Million Hands” is the community-based campaign launched by the Scout Association to mobilise half a million young people to support social issues across the UK. As part of this challenge, the Great Amwell Scouts learnt about issues including mental health and well-being, dementia and disability. The Scouts reflected on the impact these issues have on people’s lives and what they can do to help.
Scouts completing their Community Impact Badge did 4 to 24 hours of charity work each, helping at various Mudlarks fund-raising events. Tasks included serving refreshments during a theatre production of “Canary Girls”, a saxophone sextet garden recital and the inaugural river swim at Hartham Common. They also helped to tidy the Mudlarks allotments, ran fun stalls at the Open Day and worked at the Mudlarks café in central Hertford.
Graham Paul (Assistant Scout Leader) said “working with Mudlarks has provided our Scouts a wonderful opportunity to learn about the diversity of mental health issues and disabilities, to meet and help affected people, and to learn new life skills”. Kevin Coghlan (café manager) said “Mudlarks would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all the help you and your team of Scouts provided over the last few months; you have helped enormously”. Lucy Hunter (Mudlarks) also thanked the Great Amwell Scouts, adding “the Scouts have been superstars”.
From left: Graham (Assistant Scout Leader), Miles, Robert, Oliver, Henry, Erin, Molly, Isabel, Madeline and Vic (Mudlarks Project Leader).
The quotes below from our Scouts illustrate their reflections and achievements following completion of the charity work.
Erin is now considering a future in social work: “I have learned that people with a mental illness can behave unexpectedly [and they] do not always realise what they are doing. I didn’t realise how many different ways [there were] to raise money. Knowing I helped to change people’s lives is a great privilege.”
Miles: “I learnt that there is a large variety of mental illness and disability but that life can be restricted greatly by them, meaning that help is very useful for those affected. It [the volunteer work] made things easier and alleviated stress for Mudlarks [helpers and staff]. I learnt a few things about working as well as how some people are in need and can be affected differently.”
Lloyd: learnt “even if people have a disability or mental health [issue], there are places where they can do worthwhile activities and feel safe. I enjoyed seeing the happy customers and their surprise when they saw Scouts were helping. I gained patience towards when I order a meal since I now see the time and effort put in but overall I felt pleased to be supporting a charity which helps people in need.”
Oliver: learnt “It is hard for people to talk about it [mental health] because they are upset. If you have a disability, there is always something to achieve.” Oliver enjoyed “helping people” and “supported them by raising money and allowing people to connect with the charity and each other“.
Isabel: learnt “things that we take for granted can be a struggle for people with mental problems. I enjoyed the work experience of the café and the Six-on-Sax garden party; it gave me an idea of what it’s like to work in a place like that. When I worked at the Mudlarks café, it showed people that having a disability can’t stop them from having a normal life.”
Molly: “I learnt that mental health affects a lot more people than I thought. I enjoyed knowing I was helping people, especially when we helped at the café [serving free samples to passersby] and they told us how much more money they made than usual. I learnt that you can really help people by giving up just a small amount of your time.”
Robert: “I have learnt that if you are mentally disabled you need extra help and if you are disabled you might look different or act different. I enjoyed making people smile and I gained the skill to be nicer to disabled [people] as I understand that everyone is different.”
Henry: “I learnt that you must be aware of people with mental health issues and it must be very hard for them. I did some stalls at their festival [allotment open day]. This helped by giving them an enjoyable time and earning money for Mudlarks.”
Madeline: learnt “they are normal but need to be understood. I helped at the café in Hertford. I served people and cleaned up afterwards. [I will] try and introduce my school to Mudlarks.”
|Last Updated on Sunday, 13 November 2016 18:03|
Reproduced from the Great Amwell Scouts website on 17 November 2016 – : http://www.greatamwellscouts.org.uk/