Hello, the Catalyst Team: Trudi, Tim, Laura and Ed, hope you are all having a wonderful summer!
What a great summer term it has been. Though busy, it has been an amazing term with every young person that we have encountered and having the opportunity to introduce new events and engage with the schools in different ways. Considering we have had a new event happen, it has had a positive effect on both the young people and ourselves.
As for our work, we have continued with a lot of our projects from last year and take a look at our newsletter for the 2016-17 academic year as it will give you a sample of the projects that we run. Some of the new projects that we have implemented this year have been fantastic so far.
Our Mount Kelly Prep School Catalyst Youth Clubs (CYC) have been going down really well. One of the groups is for Years 3-6 on a Friday lunchtime and the other group for Years 7-8 on a Tuesday lunchtime. As it has been the summer term, having good weather has meant that our numbers in these two groups have dropped from having over 50 different students come along in the other terms however it has provided us with the opportunity to develop really good relationships with the ones that have been coming. We have also been able to identify relationships and skills such as teamwork developing amongst the students themselves. This has been an amazing term, however it doesn't stop there. The relationships we have build over the course of the year have been amazing and it feels like we have been running this group for a lot longer than we have been.
At Mount Kelly Senior School, both Thirsty Thursday and our Christian Union (called Chats- named by the young people which takes place on a Friday lunch time where we have been studying the Romance Academy course) has been going down very well. We have had the opportunity to get to know some new young people at these events this term and we are looking forward to seeing what the new term holds.
Our Tuesday Night Group has been very positive this term also, with the younger group (11-16s) going through the Fruits of the Spirits where they usually play a game, we tell them some facts for them to think about and discuss some questions with them, and sometimes have time for a response at the end to think about what applies to them at the moment. It has been positive to see the young people ask intelligent and thought-provoking questions and actively participate in the sessions this term and they have come up with some good ideas. As from September, Tuesday Night Group will be on a Monday.
During June, Catalyst were given the opportunity of joining the GCSE graduation for Tavistock College's at St. Eustatius. This was a great opportunity to see all of the year 11's, some of which we have worked with in the past, graduate from school and to see what they have achieved.
Once a term we will be holding a larger scale event called Saturday Night Out, which replaced the United services which will include a place for the young people to spend time with one another, take part in crafts, a small talk and much more. The first one in July went down really well to the extent that all of the young people enjoyed it and wanted another one in the new term.
We have had an amazing term at Catalyst. We have continued to build existing relationships, made new relationships and are always open to seeing what happens in the future, with new projects and with existing ones!
Don't forget!... We have various forms of social media you can join/follow, so make sure you are up-to-date on any events happening!
Facebook - Catalyst Tavistock
Twitter - CatalystTavistock, @CatalystTavist1
Instagram - catalysttavistock
From all of us at Catalyst, we hope you all have a wonderful summer term and we look forward to seeing you all during the rest of 2017.
The Catalyst Team.
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Running THE Race
I have had several ‘mid-life crises’ in the past decade. Usually involving a sporting challenge against similar aged colleagues and friends. I spent several weeks waking-up choking while I mentally prepared myself for the mass swim start of the Blenheim triathlon – but which in the end was much less of an ordeal. Albeit I came in 2007th place, just 2000 places behind Jenson Button.
So it should have been no surprise when, after years of saying that 26.2 miles was simply the most daft distance to train for and run, that shortly after the 2013 London Marathon I waited by the phone to enter the ballot for a place in 2014. Still with only a 1 in 10 chance of gaining a place through the ballot I would have had to be pretty unlucky not to be on my sofa watching the event one year later.
You don’t hear the result of the ballot for six months. Almost time to forget that you have even entered. And then a large envelope with the word ‘Congratulations’ showing through the plastic cover, and the first of a few Marathon News magazines, packed with top tips, exercise plans, nutritional advice and adverts for more, and more Lycra.
The problem with mid-life crises, especially of the sporting type, is that the very person they fall on is unlikely to be in the best of shape to take on the challenge ahead. I began a cycle of concerted effort, physiotherapy clinics, taking it easy and swimming, followed by more concerted effort. During phases 2 and 3 of this cycle I couldn’t think about finishing, let alone raising money for a charity, so I said nothing.
Then one evening after the Youth group had left our house, the idea of ‘Running A Race’ collided with ‘Running THE Race’ and I had my purpose. With an unspoken target time in my head I decided to run a sweepstake with 6-second tickets spanning 3:30:00 to 5:30:00. I set a bold target of raising £1200 pounds for Catalyst. People like a punt, but I found that it was a great privilege and pleasure to explain the purpose behind my chosen charity. I heard a politician say that he ‘might not believe in equality, but he did believe in the equality of opportunity’. That seemed to sum up the essence of what Catalyst offers to the youth of Tavistock – a chance to step off on the right foot from wherever you find yourself.
And so I ran A race. Just one of 38,000 others, each with their own story and all amidst the most incredible crowds and noise. I had a time in mind and just managed to keep to the pace. Limb crippling cramp threatened for the last few miles, but wore off ready for a huge smile for my finishing photograph. My family was at the finish to meet me and take me out in the evening. I celebrated that I had met my target time and met my target fund-raising total.
Which mid-life crisis is next?