“Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind” (John Donne).
Some people’s deaths, however, diminish us more, when we reflect on their qualities as human beings; though we may not discover the extent of their virtue unless we hear what others have to say about them when they have gone. This was my experience on attending the wake last week for Daniel Phelan, who died on 11 February following a long battle with cancer, at the age of 58.
Daniel was founder and editor-in-chief of Civil Society Media, publisher of several important magazines in the Charity sector and founder and principal organiser of the Charity Awards, the annual UK-wide programme recognising excellence in charity management. He was also our Landlord at Prescott Place for the last three years. As such, he took a genuine interest in Momentum’s work, making us feel welcome and supporting us with the offer of additional space at a critical time in our development, so that we could take on young people as interns. We count Civil Society Media as one of our most trusted sponsors.
At Daniel’s wake, I had the chance to speak to many of his colleagues and friends who had known him much longer and better. The stories varied, but the message was always the same: this was a man who was motivated by a desire to do right, a belief in other people, a love of life and a dedication to his chosen field of work. Loyalty, fairness, good humour, commitment, passion, goodness, courage, respect – these were the kind of words being spoken of him.
Too often nowadays we see the ruthless pursuit of money and power, the selfishness of ambition, the sacrifice of basic human decency and values in the name of profits, targets, outcomes, or raw vested interests. This quiet leader showed that it need not be so.
It was a privilege to know Daniel, however slightly, but it is only now that he has gone that I realise how much of a privilege.
We send our condolences to all Daniel’s family, friends and colleagues at Civil Society Media.
Recently Momentum World sent 3 participants on the GALA training programme in Finland.
GALA (Global Actors in Local Actions) was a project that aimed to develop global education methods at youth centres and in turn support youth workers and organisations implement this thinking into aspects of their work with young people. There were participants from Poland, Italy, Austria, Turkey, Slovakia, Spain, Finland and the UK. A fantastic opportunity to meet new people and share best practise. One of the participants Charlie from the Wigan Youth Zone wrote an amazing blog where she writes and shares her experiences from the week. These are a few of her photographers and to read the full blog follow the link to Charlie in Finland
Momentum Directors Paul Oxborough and Trevor Keough have just completed a three day research visit to Cologne. The purpose was to research new venues and catch up with our German partners
Visit To Jugendherberge Youth Hostel in Cologne (10-11/2/15)
The first stop was the Jegendherberge Youth Hostel, up until a few years ago you wouldn’t associate hostels as a venue for training, but Germany sets the standard for bringing the two together. The hostel is directly opposite the train station and is ideally situated for getting into Cologne on foot. The bedrooms were spotlessly clean and well appointed for a hostel (separate toilet, shower). Each person gets a lockable cupboard/wardrobe and small safe. There is a choice of 2 or 4 person bedrooms and the venue is superb for wheelchair access. Breakfast was outstanding, warm fresh bread and a real continent selection of fresh quality food.
The conference facilities here were excellent with a wide range of rooms available covering every size. There is also a dedicated conference team so deals can be negotiated and there is a quick response to any problems. Both trevor and I were seriously impressed by this setup.
Next stop was a visit to our friends in Hot Sinzig (11/2/15)
We were very well looked after by Anja, Anna and her mum. The Hot Sinzig project clearly has a big impact in the local community and area. Working with minority groups, disaffected young people, families, they offer food banks, clothes banks, and community teaching. After hearing so much about Hot we finally got to see the amazing work Petra Klein does and we were impressed. We also had a great tour guide Anna our friend from Inclusion TV Austria. Coffee, cakes and lunch led to us feeling very welcome – thanks guys.
Visit To Janusz Korczak School in Sinzig (11/2/15)
Anna (being the great host) then took us to meet with Janina who is trainee teacher at this special needs school. Our plan is to kidnap her and bring her to the UK in April to be part of S-Factor into Eurovision. We briefly met the Director Karsten Scholzel of the school who seemed very supportive of the project and keen to be involved. So looking forward to developing this link. The school is for pupils with learning difficulties and behavioral issues so disabilities are not obvious at first glance. It was great to see this school and start the process of building new links in Germany.
Time to head off into the hills with a visit to the Eifeldorf centre in Bad Breisig (11/2/15)
The aim of this visit was to catch up with our trainer friend Ramon and observe one of his programmes in action, as well as checking out a residential venue in a rural location.
The venue is very interesting one on the side of the mountain over looking the River Rhine, great views. The location half a mile up a dirt track opens into a small settlement of triangular residential huts and main building consisting of a bar space, and dining space and outdoor spaces. The buildings have been there since 2000 but have a unusual quirkiness. We met some very interesting trainers – we got involved in a Living Books session which was good fun. Then Trevor and I did some networking. I came across a Romanian visual artist called Paul Dumitru (www.pauldumitru.ro) his work was of a very high standard and he can actively involve young people in working with him to record a conference. Lara from our recent Education Inspirations in Finland was on the course – she was very pleased to see us.
Planning in a spa Hotel Maravilla (12/2/15)
The morning was spent not in the sauna or having a massage but bashing out ideas for our new Momentum Effect course. This is a course we are designing to enable more experienced trainers to work with us over the next few years. A full article will follow shortly.
Overall thoughts of the trip
Very worthwhile. We reestablished contact with old friends and got to know the area much better. There is great potential to use facilities in this area. Good and efficient transport links and some great venues. Just need to now get creative with writing the programmes See you soon Germany and thank you for your amazing hospitality x
During their Citizenship lessons, a group of Year 10 and 11 students at Netherthorpe School in Derbyshire in the UK have created some amazing pieces of artwork to convey very powerful messages as part of their own Time For Tea project. Netherthorpe Article
2 youth groups in Uzhhorod, Ukraine have worked hard and made the following films
To view the latest newsletter from Momentum World follow the link below. Don’t forget we are always looking for interesting articles to go into our newsletter from partner organisations and young people, please feel free to contact us with your suggests or pieces. Read on to find out a bit more about what you will find in this edition.
In the latest addition of the newsletter the Momentum World team are proud to announce the launch of the first S-Factor film – A Voice for All. This looks back over the project that takes place in July and gives an incredible insight as to why this project affects so many people.
The Time For Tea project is ongoing and with the Time For Tea day approaching on the 26th of June it was a great opportunity to catch up with one of the schools involved to share with us how they have been approaching the task.
Avisha was a Momentum World intern back in 2013. Since then she has gone on to develop her own organisation Friendsline. We went along to support Avisha at the launch event and found out more about what she has been working on.
The process of putting together each edition of the newsletter is quite lengthy and any articles that are submitted have to be collected well in advance. We would love to have more stories from our Momentum World network telling us about how your time on one of our projects was and what you are up to now.