When I found out the amazing news that I was one of the chosen successful applicants of the Vodafone World of Difference Placement programme I was over the moon and could not wait to start working full time for my chosen charity Building Trust International. I was also really looking forward to the induction day where I would get the chance to meet the other winners and discuss with them about their chosen charities and what they would be doing on their placements.
Well yesterday myself and the other 499 winners made our way to Newbury Racecourses to have our induction day. I didn’t quite know what to expect but within minutes I found myself deep into conversation discussing with the others about the fascinating work they were going to be carrying out for their chosen charities. It was amazing to hear from a wide range of people about their very varied and different charities from the great work by Becca at Tackle Africa providing HIV education through football coaching to Sarah’s work at Engineer’s Without Borders. It was very motivating to hear from people who were already giving a great deal of their time to help people in need.
Not only were the fellow winners motivating but the speeches throughout the day were very uplifting and inspirational. I had heard previously about the great motivational speeches that Simon Weston OBE had given in the past and when I saw that he would be chatting to our group I was very excited to hear what he had to say. He discussed how one person really can make a difference and that we had to believe in ourselves and see the full picture around us:
“To keep our eye not just on the ball but what’s around the ball.”
Simon was one of several speakers including survivor Lisa Potts whose speech about overcoming her terrible ordeal which led her on to great things including setting up the charity Believe to Achieve was very powerful and told us that even though terrible situations can happen to us in life it is what we do after and how we focus our thoughts which can lead us on to great achievements.
We also heard from former WOD 2010 winners Justen Schafer Humes and David Clare who after a very fulfilling two month placement at their chosen charities have gone on to continue their great work at The Odysseus Foundation and Habitat for Humanity. It was great to hear that for many people the Vodafone placement is only the beginning of the story.
To finish the day we had a final discussion from Simon and Vodafone WOD champion Gok Wan who although in great pain from a back problem gave a great speech on his previous work with the WOD winners and how he really believed that people can make a difference.
Well after a fantastic day, I am now starting Day One of my placement and am greatly looking forward to the next two months working for Building Trust International and hearing more from the other successful winners.
GOOD LUCK to you all!!!
My next blog will be about the work I will be carrying out on my placement and how you can help out to!