Saturday 10th October 2009 saw the first ever FOE development day in Westminster (London), which saw volunteers old and new work together to create a vision for the future of the charity.
The half-day forum comprised a mix of guest speakers, as well as a brainstorming session which allowed the generation of many ideas and targets for the future development of the project. One of the most encouraging outcomes was an incredible number of new volunteers, for whom the day was a springboard for committing their time to help move the charity forward.
During the first part of the session, the audience was welcomed by FOE Director Derek Keir. After a group icebreaker, which ended up with rather more than just the ice broken following an unfortunate collision with the refreshment table, the group was then addressed first by Lyson Zulu, and then by Oscar Mwanga, who founded EduSport in 1999. Myself and Alfie Shephard gave a short update about our more recent involvement in FOE, before the session moved on to a 'market stall' rotation intended to introduce potential volunteers to the range of activities EduSport has to offer.
This was a particularly fruitful part of the afternoon, as it saw the creation of 8 project teams, each taking responsibility for pushing forward a particular area of FOE; for instance sponsorship, marketing, fundraising and developing closer ties with FOE Norway. Even those who were already committed to other projects were able to provide new ideas and novel approaches whilst rotating around the tables and chatting to the project leads.
As the day wrapped up, all those involved were invited out for a meal and social in Covent Garden, which provided yet another opportunity to get to know fellow Friend of EduSport members. I'm sure that I join many others in extending a massive THANK YOU to Derek for his organisation of this event, and sharing his infectious enthusiasm with all who attended!