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In terms of blogging, my summer plans didn't go as I originally planned. I definitely wanted and wished that I would post every single day for the 3 months of summer I had, however a lot kept coming up, so that wasn't the case. However I was able to do quite a few things on my summer bucket list that I wanted to do, including volunteering. 

I was given the oppotunity to volunteer with a programme called Headstart. This is a programme available for NCS graduates. By volunteering for just 16 hours, we were able to then recieve a garunteed interview with companies like Starbucks and New Look. Not only am I looking for a job, but I was already wanting to do volunteering in the summer, so this was perfect! 

I did my placement at a well-being centre, near my local area. It was a place that I'd never heard of before, however I now know of the great work they have done for families. They promote healthy eating and lifestyles, by teaching parents and child how to cook/bake, look for the right foods for their bodies, and to grow food themselves. I mainly worked within the kitchen and the local allotment, which they attend. 

On the first day, I went to the place for the first time. We met our mentor for the programme, the other volunteers and workers. Everyone was really friendly and we all got to know each other pretty quickly. We were taken on a short tour of the centre and walked down to the allotment. I learnt lots of new things about growing fruit, vegetables and plants. A lot of the vegetables were ripe, so we were able to eat them there and then. There were also plants like mint and edible flowers that all the brave ones decided to try. I thought the mint tasted a bit weird but the flower wasn't too bad. It's not everyday you eat flowers. 

We had a little discussion about our roles as volunteers and what days we wanted/could do. We were given timetables which showed the dates available and the events occurring. I attended on the 16th, 18th and 31st of August, aswell as the 1st of september. 

On the 18th of August, they had a family day at the allotment. Myself and 2 other volunteers my age were in charge of the arts and crafts table with younger children. We had paint and decorations to decorate rocks found around the allotment. Although it was a childish activity, we all surprisingly had a lot of fun with it and ended up doing about 5 rocks each.
Using the vegetables and herbs within the allotment, they made fresh vegetable curry in a tomato sauce. It was actually quite nice but I will always love meat, so I felt that chicken was definitely missing.

On the 31st of August there was another fun day, but on a much larger scale. We made some rather unusual cakes in the kitchen, including, chocolate and corgette, lemon dizzle cake, beetroot and a cake including poppyseeds. Some were strange but very adventurous and creative. We also made coconut and white chocolate cookies, which tasted AMAZING! 

We went to the local park, alongside other businesses and organisations to put on a fun day. There was an ice-cream truck which provided free ice-creams, sports such as archery, an arts and crafts table and our table with cake, cookies, tea and other snacks. The day was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed being with the other volunteers. Myself and the girls laughed all day and tried out the sports ourselves. 

On my final day of volunteering, we went to the allotment again. We were again in charge of the arts and crafts table, which was pretty entertaining.
The allotment have an earth oven, which we used to make fresh pizza in seconds! We got to choose toppings from the garden and waited literally 20 seconds and it was fully cooked! It was amazing.
We even attempted to recreate it on our art table! 

Not only do you have an impact on other people by volunteering, but you get to benefit from it too! I feel that I've gained so much by volunteering, I have gained so much. Volunteering has allowed me to develop my communication skills. I got to know a lot of different people and their opinions on different things. I got to ask questions and new things I never thought I'd know.
I've been able to form friendships and strengthen friendships by volunteering. By spending time with different people, I have expanded my friendship cirlce.

Furthermore, I now have more knowledge of healthy eating. I have learnt a lot more about cooking, foods that are good for the body, and how to prepare foods. I feel that this will specifically benefit me when I go to university and start providing for myself. By knowing about organic foods and meals I can make, I am able to have a healthier lifestyle. 

I loved meeting new people whenever families came to their events and I loved working with the volunteers. It was a great experince and they made me feel very welcome. Getting to try new things was great as it was my main goal for the summer. I wanted to try a lot of new things like foods, activities etc, which volunteering allows you to do.

Overall, I recommend volunteering and I recommend the head start programme. If you get the chance, definitely take part, as not only do you gain from it, but so do other people. By volunteering, you make a difference to your community. 

I hope that you some day decide to take part in volunteering as I thoroughly believe that it is beneficial for everyone! 

Thanks for watching. 

Have a great day! X

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