Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Here I am in Fishguard, South Wales

I hired a car as it was the easiest thing to do after exploring buses and trains, and roughly about the same price. On my way to the station I walked the back street to get to where all the taxis park, and found a working foundry. I was delighted to be able to witness the molten steel being tipped from the furnace into the ladle (a huge bucket thingy) and then poured into pre heated moulds to eventually form steel bars, which are then sent off to numerous businesses to be made into stuff. What a fitting closure for my time in the steel city. Lucky ay. I then drove down from Sheffield, with a tear in my eye, arriving in Solva at 12.30, thank god for the old GPS!!. Wales is so very beautiful, and I get to spend some time sailing with my old friend before heading to Ireland on Monday. There hasn't been a dull moment and this morning as I write I am grateful for the stillness and focus writing requires. Id like now to proceed by saying something insightful and intelligent about Sheffield and the North, but I don't think my brain will let me. Anyway, here goes.. 

The multidisciplinary approach to this study tour has been really interesting and I really appreciate learning about planning and development. Not much was focused on from a community development point of view but its all community development anyway, just different perspectives. As our time grew to an end in Sheffield, community centres, projects and organisations started leaping into my field of vision, allowing me to see that there was plenty of places to go and explore in my free time (ha ha) had I taken the initiative. 
The community child care centre we visited with Trevor Hogan was run and funded quite similarly to those at home, except that it is dealing with a city clientele, a multicultural clientele and primarily it offers numerous services that childcare centres in Central Vic don't. Everything from breast feeding guidance to fathers clubs to family violence intervention. That place was one of quite a few scattered across Sheffield, but recent funding cuts have forced closures and now the remaining are under pressure from greater demand for their services. Sounds familiar.
 
Our little unit was knocked sideways during the build-up to presentations, which were brilliant, well done everyone, by the passing of Cathy's dear father Peter. We all banded together and stayed the distance, getting our tasks done. I just want to say, all you people who offered condolences, hugs, cups of tea and tears of your own are to be blessed and sincerely thanked, you were just brilliant and I know Cathy was taken aback by how lovely everyone was.
 
The next couple of days will be learning about tides and sailing culture, nice.
- Anna Hardinge (Bachelor of Community Development)
 
 
 
 
 
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