Gear Up for… Sarah Lin

22nd February 2011 by

Sarah has just completed the Gear Up programme *rapturous applause* and I really wanted to share her story with you guys, since she’s been an absolute star.

As a Gear Up intern at Hackney City Farm she helped out with their waste management project – monitoring the farm’s food waste, writing funding applications for a rocket composter (surely the coolest-sounding composter you’ve ever heard of?), and researching and making recommendations for a future waste management scheme. Considering Sarah’s love of waste management systems (to each their own), this was a perfect fit for Sarah and she described Hackney City Farm as an “incredibly inspiring place to work, full of nice people who love what they do”. We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

Sarah also received training through the programme in sustainable food growing practices (and sustainable food consumption… some scrummy, sustainable food was had at the Rootmaster and Leon, pictured above). She also overcame her fear of roads and passed her Level 1 Bikeability cycling proficiency training with Bikeworks. Best of all, we helped her overhaul her CV and next thing you know, she has an interview for an internship with a great charity back home in Australia. We hope that this is just the beginning for our Gear Up participants as, after all, the aim of Gear Up is to help our young people stand more of a chance in this difficult economy, and grab one of those green jobs we’ve been hearing so much about!

We are really proud of Sarah for all she’s achieved with us and we’ll miss her down under! We can’t be too sad though – listen to her describe what her plans are for her back yard… very cool. Australia obviously needs her.

Big Ideas…

14th December 2010 by

My name’s Sam and I’m on an internship at the Otesha Project, which is all about training me up to be able to run my own project. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Firstly, of course, I had to think of a project. What do I want to change, what can I change? I’d always wanted to do something but I needed a big idea.

I thought about it for a while on the train home, staring into empty space with my headphones in. Surrounded by dozens of people doing roughly the same; twice a day, travelling from home to work and work to home. Then they get home, sit down and watch telly, maybe text someone or go on Facebook and finally sleep before repeating.

And people are becoming more and more isolated and introverted.

So I decided I wanted to get people talking again. Not just that, but being friendly to other people, maybe even being optimistic about ‘people they don’t know yet’ rather than ‘strangers’.

Essentially, the plan is to launch an open space in my local area (probably sometime around April-ish) with the aim of promoting a real sense of community and promoting the alternatives to what has created this antisocial society. I don’t really think the ‘Big Society’ is going to cut it.

This would, hopefully, provide everyone a place to sit and relax, away from home and with other people they share the city with.

In the fantasy world this open space exists in, the facilities available include an ‘open room’ of comfy chairs and tea and biscuits, a public meeting room for any group to utilise, also possibly a room with a few beds (read mattresses) to serve as a youth hostel and a community garden outside.

It’s very early days in an ambitious project but I’m optimistic. Feedback, ideas and volunteers would be much appreciated and hopefully you’ll be hearing soon about the grand launch.


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