Last week flew by, with our WeDiscover Beach Clean on Monday followed by our WeMindTheGap Jubilee Party on Thursday. The Beach Clean was our trial run before we selected our own stretch and it was a real success. We split into two teams to cover a 100m area, scouring the beach to pick up whatever non-natural substances we could find. We’d then categorise them in our surveys. There was definitely a slight competition going on between the two teams, seeing who ended up with the biggest weight at the end. Laura and Thalia moved the scales just slightly more than Penny, Serena, and me, but we found a wooden palette so if we added that to the mix, our litter-picking skills would’ve smashed theirs out of the beach. The amount of cigarette butts we found was also obscene at 104 so if you see your friends flicking them nonchalantly onto the floor, give them a nudge. Once we’d picked for an hour, we returned to a café to log our information, being treated to free hot drinks for our efforts. If saving the planet wasn’t motivation enough, then this gratitude from the community was.
We celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee early here at WeMindTheGap, bringing together Gappies past and present at Moneypenny last Thursday. We always endeavour to keep in touch with our alumni once they’ve finished the programme and an event like this was an excellent opportunity to reconnect with Gappies from earlier programmes, introducing them to more recent Gappies and staff they may not have met before. Since I’ve always been on the WeDiscover team, I was one of those staff members new to them. Although I’ve delivered the odd session here and there for other programmes, I’d never met most of the Gappies before. Chris and I drove three of the Manchester Gappies over and this was an great way to get to know them.

When we arrived, the Wrexham team had laid out a spread of afternoon tea, as well as many activities for the ever-growing number of our Gappies’ own children, or ‘mini-Gappies’ as we like to call them. Ball-pits, colouring activities, and a sew-your-own-Corgi kit were all in abundance. We even had Mo come along, one of our team’s very own real-life Corgi. I asked if she’d rented it for the occasion and much to my disappointment, I found out I was the fifth person to ask that. Our WeDiscover team had put together a quiz for the afternoon, featuring ‘National Treasures’, ‘Classic British Films’, and a look back on the significant events of the last 70 years. I took on hosting duties for the quiz, much happier behind the mic, taking on a role for the afternoon.

It was a wonderful afternoon for our team and Gappies alike. We’ve been running programmes in North Wales since 2014 and the North West of England since 2019 so our WeBelong alumni is growing and spread out meaning we rarely have the chance to bring them all together. Events like these are a fantastic opportunity for keeping these connections strong so I’m pleased I got to see all these faces again, or for the first time.

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