THE NOISE in Ashwell 2012
The Ashwell NOISE Project happened over the weekend July 21- 22 nd 2012. It was led by Jen Sinfield, the Youth Worker for St Mary's Church and Brian Williams. THE NOISE was originally developed by Soul Survivor, a Christian organisation that runs events to encourage young people to live out a life of worship and see Jesus' love and grace impact upon their own lives and those of others. THE NOISE involves young people living God's love by undertaking work in their own community such as gardening and painting, together with other tasks aimed at meeting the needs of elderly and/or disabled people.
THE NOISE in Ashwell was generously sponsored by:
Rhubarb and Mustard
Susan Birch Hairdressing
The Pig and Abbot
In addition, Mathew Fathers, our local Tree Surgeon kindly gave his time and his truck to deal with the very considerable amount of refuse generated by the young people working on the various projects – a full load was taken to the recycling facility after a half day's work!
The URC Church kindly provided the use of their excellent hall facility free of charge throughout the weekend, the hall became the Project Base and we were very grateful for this very tangible gesture of commitment to the project from our URC friends.
The NOISE Project completed a variety of tasks at:
Ashwell URC Church
Work was also completed at the homes of two individuals in the village involving clearing a garden and dealing with a long-neglected storage area. Finally, one of our most senior residents was taken for a tour of Ashwell in her wheelchair, followed by a cup of tea and some good conversation at the URC church hall.
Claire Williams led the catering team based at the URC with an enthusiastic group of helpers. Over the two day period, approximately 140 meals were delivered by five people. The great majority of produce was supplied by Crumps, Rhubarb and Mustard and Days of Ashwell.
14 young people were involved with THE NOISE from Ashwell and surrounding villages. The project was also supported by 15 adult volunteers who helped to ensure that everything ran smoothly from beginning to end.
Project T Shirts, emblazoned with the names of our sponsors were given to everyone who took part in THE NOISE, helping to create a feeling of identity and team spirit.
Following completion of project work on Saturday, the young people watched two films at St Mary's, before spending the night in the church, described as a ‘sleep in' but where the young people spent the night awake for the most part!! Full marks to Jen Sinfield and her husband Scott for their involvement in this part of the events.
On Sunday, following completion of more project work, a barbecue at St Mary's was thoroughly enjoyed in the bright sunshine which helped to make the weekend such a pleasant event. The project ended on an inspiring high note with a Youth Service led by Jen Sinfield and involving the Baldock Worship Band.
A commentary on the success of the project is perhaps best provided by:
‘I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all your hard work at the weekend. My young people came back exhausted but bursting with positive energy, they evidently loved every part of the project. We really appreciate all that you did to make the weekend a success.
My friend and I were saying today that it was great for the kids to realise that they could enjoy something that didn't involve the things that they think they need to make them happy and that they can get pleasure and satisfaction from doing something well for someone else. What a great lesson to learn!'
And the young people involved……………
it was totally awesome, best weekend of the year so far! Everyone had smiling faces- ...anonymous xxx'
‘can't put into words how much fun I had over the weekend, felt so proud of everyone for being able to make such a big difference in only two days!'
‘It was so nice to see that we could actually do something like that to help people in Ashwell and it was nice to work as a team to complete the jobs that were set'
‘I loved every minute of THE NOISE Project and it was great to see that a little hard work and effort could go such a long way'
‘The weekend was amazing! I met loads of new people and I was so proud at the difference we did to Ashwell. The whole weekend was just interpersonal and I can't wait to do it again'
Several beneficiaries of the work completed by the project teams also expressed their delight in the fact that on many occasions the young people exceeded what was requested of them. In one case a resident was so delighted that we received a further donation although all of the work was provided free of charge.
A video recording has been made of the weekend and some excellent still photographs were taken by Martin Lush; many readers will have seen some very good coverage of the event in The Royston Crow
A recent Government study suggested that over 75% of media coverage involving young people was negative in its overall tone. The success of the NOISE Project in Ashwell says a great deal not only about our young people but also about the many other people in our community who were willing to work with the abundant and at times challenging energy displayed by young people in a spirit of tolerance, encouragement and co-operation. Some words used in our promotion of the project were that young people are ‘ Transformers, not Trouble makers '. On behalf of the project group, we would like to say a very sincere thank you to St Mary's PCC and the Ashwell URC for their wholehearted support of THE NOISE and to all the people, regardless of age who worked so hard to make the project such a resounding success.
Jen Sinfield and Brian Williams August 2012