CAS (Creativity, Action and Service) - The IB Class of 2019 Report 3
Volunteering at the Charity Café
The C2K Café is a café that donates its profits to different causes in the community, for example towards clubs to help elderly people with technology. The person who runs the café was very happy when I asked if they needed volunteers to help during half terms and weekends. During my time volunteering at the café I undertook different tasks. I took orders, served food, cleaned tables and washed up. The different social skills that I learnt from this experience will be very helpful as I progress through my education and through life. A goal I want to achieve from this experience was to improve my communication skills across all different ages of people.
After completing my time volunteering at the café I felt truly overwhelmed by the vast amount of skills that I have been able to gain and also by the relationships that I have formed with not only the staff at the café but also the customers. This experience has been very rewarding for me as I have been able to learn and develop skills that I will be able to use throughout the rest of my academic and personal life.
One of the most rewarding parts of my time volunteering at the cafe was when I first began helping. The people who not only worked at the café, but who also attended the café made me feel so welcome and like I was part of their café community. It was very rewarding to get to know all of the individuals on a personal level whilst also being able to give back to the wider community that I myself grew up in.
Although there were many great parts about my time helping there were also some hard times. Some of the hardest times were when I was trying to learn how to use the till as I was very nervous about getting it wrong which in turn demotivated me. After finally getting the hang of using the till, I became much less nervous and I was motivated once again to carry on contributing to that great work that the café does. The importance of working as part of a team was really highlighted to me throughout my time at the café. I enjoy working as part of a team as I believe that tasks are often carried out more successfully when people effectively work together and I feel that working as part of a team makes a task more enjoyable. I was very lucky that at the café all of the volunteers and members of staff were team players which made my time at the café much easier and made the working atmosphere very enjoyable.
Overall, I feel as though I achieved all of the goals that I set for myself before beginning my time at the café and I can truly say that the experience I have gained from the café and the skills that I have learned and developed will aid me throughout the rest of my life and I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to help the community.
The Mindfulness Course was run in school by Miss Brand. There were nine lessons which occurred every week on a Wednesday, period 7. The course is called .b which represents 'stop and be' and in each lesson we learnt something new about mindfulness. At the end of the course, I hoped to be less stressed, more relaxed and to also be able to focus, especially in lessons at school. I was really looking forward to starting the course because I felt like I would learn a lot about myself and so be able to improve myself.
The reason that I participated in the mindfulness course was that I wanted to learn to live in the moment a little more, be more mindful in general and also to learn how to deal more easily with stress and anxiety in and out of school. For these aims the course has been more than successful, and has changed my perspective as to how you should go into situations and also how to deal with situations once they confront you. With strategies such as watching ideas go by and not letting them bother you, I feel I have dramatically decreased my stress levels and learnt to not be bothered by unnecessary worries so much. The sessions also helped with my planning because every week new challenges had to be undertaken as a sort of 'homework' in advance of the next session. In the mindfulness lessons, I also got to know that working together with people could also dramatically improve mental health, because while mindfulness is inherently personal, having a network of support is essential to mental well-being. The sessions also helped me to think about the ethics about my choices and actions, as it allowed me to properly assess whether the way I was acting towards someone or indeed myself was the correct way of acting.