My Volunteering Experience

For Christmas 2014, I decided to spend three days giving back to others, alongside many other amazing people. On the 23rd December, I joined 400 other volunteers to create food hampers for those in need all across London. After not making it to Basket Brigade in 2013, I was determined to do it this time round.

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It was a crazy, fun-filled day, which I spent hefting sacks of potatoes and carrots, picking up litter and mucking in wherever needed. We had some great entertainment throughout the day, as volunteers took to the stage to sing, dance and beat-box! There was a great DJ and spirits were high, even when there was a shortage of parsnips and puddings. Ketan made an awesome video of the day you can watch here. (See if you can spot me at the point where it says the arrival of the Christmas Angels!)

I joined two lovely volunteers, Faisal and John, to distribute five of the baskets. A couple we had to leave on the front door step, but when people were there to receive it, there were questions and confusion, but we had been instructed to simply point them to the note enclosed and insist we were just the delivery people. One of the recipients was a very elderly lady, and because she was unsteady on her feet, I carried the heavy basket inside for her, and then she directed me to the kitchen to put the chicken in the freezer, which was so small it needed a little rearranging to fit!

Once they were all delivered, we found a pub and had dinner, and celebrated Christmas, new friendships and playing our part in helping others.

Then on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I volunteered from 10am to 7pm at one of the Crisis for Christmas centres. I was there primarily as an Arts and Crafts Volunteer, but pitched in to help with whatever needed doing, and did my best to make the guests that I interacted with have a good Christmas. I made cards, put sparkles in hair, played scrabble and on Christmas Day was in charge of the cinema. Despite the moaning, Mamma Mia went down very well! (Not my choice, by the way, though I do love the location where it is filmed!)

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Got beaten at Scrabble!

I walked to and from the centre on Christmas Day, (no public transport) and though I was surprised at how many cars were on the road, I had a lot of fun greeting strangers passing by with a cheery ‘good morning!’ and ‘merry christmas!’ It seems that it’s acceptable to do so in London only on very special occasions!

I set up a sponsorship page so that my friends and family could sponsor me to volunteer, and I was blown away by the response. The total stands at £307.62, and is still open for donations at the moment. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who sponsored, it really is amazing.

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Rocking the paper chain crown!

Christmas 2014 is the first ever Christmas I have had away from family and friends, and in London, and I have to say, the experience was so very worth it. Seeing the guests being transformed by haircuts and conversations, and having time to relax in a safe place was amazing. I did my best to direct any homeless people I met on the street to the Crisis centres, so they could get some food and somewhere warm to be over the holiday.

So if you have ever thought about volunteering, all I can say is – do it. It’s fun, it’s rewarding, and it might just change someone’s life for the better. (And it will definitely change yours)

 

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Goodbye 2014! Hello 2015!

Happy New Year Everyone!

2014 was a weird year, both a long and a short one, a happy and a sad one. Just thought I would write a summary of the year, in order to acknowledge and release the old, to make way for the new that 2015 will bring. It’s a long post, so grab a cuppa!

I started the year with an amazing Harry Potter themed birthday party. I had mixed feelings about turning 30. Part of me was more than ready to say goodbye to my twenties, and another part of me was listing all of the things I had hoped to have done by this time but hadn’t. In truth, as I near my 31st birthday, I don’t really feel all that different, and when I tell people my age, it feels merely like a random number, than something that has any significance.

Also in January, I began my ‘Ask an Angel’ Oracle readings on my YouTube channel, inviting people to ask Aria, Amethyst or Velvet a question which I would then answer with their oracle cards. In 2014, I recorded twenty readings, and half of those were questions about Twin Flames, which is what inspired me to write more on the subject, as you can see from the many posts now on my blog.

My most popular blog post in January was my views on how to deal with criticism, after becoming the subject of derision in someone else’s blog.

In February, I embarked on the Man Brain Box Experiment, and though I only did it for a week, it did remind me that in fact, having a single focus make you far more productive than if you are to multi-task. I think it’s increasingly difficult, in this age of the internet and social media, to retain a single focus on anything, with so many demands for our attention (she says, surrounded by her phone, iPad and open tabs on her laptop) it can be difficult to shut out all the distractions and get on with something, and put everything you have into it. But I do think it’s worth it.

In March, I finally finished writing I’m Here, which I had started and stopped writing two Novembers previously and seemed to be stuck on. I was so happy to finally finish it, and when coming up with cover ideas, I had the inspiration to change the covers of three of my previous books, and bring them together into a collection. With the help of my awesome sister, I then set to work on getting the new covers of the Visionary Collection sorted out, and I released the whole collection, including the new book, in May. The paperbacks were delayed by technical issues, but finally came out by August.

In March I also had a few realisations on my plans, and on whose advice to listen to, and when to take it with a pinch of salt. I also discovered the wondrous joy of Scapple and had a go at using the Chronodex to organise my life.

In April I celebrated the 5 year anniversary of the birth of the first few words of the The Earth Angel Training Academy, and reviewed the journey with the book so far. I took part in the Wellness Symposium in Cirencester, I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award, and I revealed the new covers for the Visionary Collection for the first time.

In May I embarked on the I’m Here Book Tour, to celebrate the release of the new book, by giving away little cards all around the world, that contained a QR code allowing you to download a free PDF copy of the book. I had so much fun with this idea, and was really pleased with how it went. You can see the map of where the book was downloaded, and the link will remain active, so if you haven’t yet read I’m Here and would like to, please click here to download your free copy! If you have read it, and you enjoyed it, please do leave me a review on Amazon, I’d really appreciate it.

The tour continued with gusto throughout June, and in that month I teamed up with Sarah Vine, founder of the Earth Angel Sanctuary, to offer her members a free copy of The Earth Angel Training Academy, and I also wrote a letter to all Twin Flames, after seeing so many beautiful souls searching for answers on the subject.

In July, I attended the Healing Weekend, and had an amazing time, I recorded the first chapter of The Elphite as an audiobook, I recorded a video of some crazy deer in the garden, which went viral on YouTube (over 26k hits now!), I did a talk and sold books at the MBS Psychic Fayre in Newport, and I relaxed and went with the flow when things seemed to be going very wrong.

In August, the paperback editions of the Visionary Collection became available on Amazon, I was interviewed by Sarah Vine, and I embarked on a new adventure to the vibrant city of Brighton. I began to write more about Twin Flames, and at the very end of August, I started writing my latest book, The Twin Flame Reunion. I met one of my fans, Chip Jenkins, who is now one of my closest friends.

September was my quietest blogging month of 2014, due to my full time job, doing 50 hour weeks left me with little energy to write. I blogged about listening to your own intuition, and then at the end of the month, about knowing your own worth and not settling for less. The highlight of the month came in the form of a beautiful letter from a man who had decided that his life was worth living after reading The Earth Angel Training Academy.

In October, I took part in the Writer’s Blog Tour, I finished writing The Twin Flame Reunion and I started offering guidance sessions to fellow Earth Angels.

In November I released the cover for the Reunion, I blogged about the idea of changing our own fate, I started writing the next book in the Earth Angel series – The Twin Flame Retreat – and completed it in two weeks, and I released the Visionary Collection Kindle Boxset. 

Okay, one month left!

In December, I celebrated winning Nanowrimo, even though I didn’t join in until the 16th November, I released the Earth Angel Series Boxset on Kindle, I started my Adventure with Astrid, and I decided to spend my Christmas in London, taking part in the Basket Brigade and volunteering for Crisis for Christmas. I also packed up and left Brighton, and am currently figuring out my next move.

So to sum up – a pretty busy year, lots of changes, challenges, high and low points, and I feel like 2015 will be the year where everything comes together and begins to make more sense. Or at least, that’s the hope!

I can see now that I achieved quite a few things, and I feel that in 2014 I created some very important connections that will make 2015 far more spectacular.

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Happy New Year!

Crisis Fundraising Update

WOW! I was totally blown away yesterday, by the incredibly generous sponsors who have brought my current fundraising total up to £231.62!!

I am so very glad that I put decided to do the sponsoring page now, I wasn’t planning to originally, but I figured that every little helped, and even if I was able to raise enough money for one person to have a happy Christmas, it would be worth it. But to have already have raised enough for 10 people to have a warm Christmas? Incredible.

A big thank you to all my sponsors so far – Becky, Sally, Marc, Megan, Helen, Donna, Rachel, Annette and George. You are all superstars and I love you all!

Here is another video that has touched me. It started off as an experiment, to see if people would give to a homeless child, and then something happened during the experiment that had me in tears. Watch to the end, and have some tissues.x

[youtube http://youtu.be/2Rsc-2oMB0s]

The Basket Brigade and Crisis at Christmas

Just wanted to write a post to tell everyone about my Christmas plans! For many years now, I have wanted to volunteer over Christmas, and do a little something to make a difference. Last year, I wanted to take part in the Basket Brigade in London, and wasn’t able to, so I decided that I definitely would this year. And I figured that while I was in London, it would be a great idea to also volunteer for Crisis, as the homeless situation in this country has very much been in the forefront of my thoughts over the last few months.

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The Basket Brigade takes place on the 23rd of December, and on that day, hundreds of volunteers will gather to pack food into basket hampers, and then deliver them to people in need all over London. You can find out more about it and see videos and pictures here, and please, if you are in London, do consider joining us for the day! It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I cannot wait!

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Crisis is a charity that provides shelter, hot food and entertainment for homeless people all over London, and I will be volunteering for them on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Over the past few months in Brighton, and any time I have spent time in London, seeing people sleeping on the streets has been something that has bothered me a lot. I have done a little to help, providing food and drink when I can, but it wasn’t until a friend of mine found himself homeless that it really did hit home that really – becoming homeless could happen to anyone at anytime. And I know, that if it weren’t for my amazing family and friends, and the help of credit cards, I could easily have ended up in the same situation.

And so, though I haven’t got the spare money to donate this Christmas, I am donating my time, hugs, smiles and creativity to try and make someone’s Christmas. I have set up a fundraising page, so if you would like to sponsor me, then you are most welcome. So far, I have had two very generous donations that will ensure that two people get a Christmas at Crisis.

There have been so many amazing videos and articles that have gone viral on the internet, showing people doing acts of kindness for the homeless, and in my updates on the fundraising, I will share videos that have touched me the most. I will start with this one, because I think it beautifully illustrates what I have said about it happening to any of us.

[youtube http://youtu.be/THxtcWNw3QA]

Thank you so much for reading this, I hope you have an awesome Christmas! xx