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Awards, Aladdin and Aquariums: My Week.

Well, last week was a whirlwind! It’s amazing how much you can cram into one week, and I thought I’d share what I’ve been up to with you.

Monday 22nd – On Monday, I went along with Matt West to Noadswood School to assist with their session for the upcoming Wessex Schools Poetry Slam.

Tuesday 23rd – Widening Participation and Access Celebration and Development Day. As my time as a WP Ambassador comes to a close, the university put on a range of events to celebrate our hard work, and help to develop these programmes in following years.

For the WP Ambassadors, we got to come together and give out awards, as well as give feedback on the WP programme, and even try our hands at some arts and crafts.

We made some lovely little tealight holders using mason jars and Sharpie pens, which we filled with sweets as little mementos of the day. Here’s what mine looks like:

Next, we gave out the awards. To my surprise, I won the award for “Exemplar Ambassador”! However, the university had an Oscar’s moment, and forgot my award, so I don’t have any photos to share with you yet.

But next we moved on to the feedback portion. This was so rewarding, as it gave us all a chance to reflect on all of the different activities we had delivered, and the different schools we had worked with over the months as WP Ambassadors. Here’s what my group’s feedback looked like:

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Wednesday 24th – On Wednesday, I was back with Matt West, delivering a more writing-based workshop at Houndsdown School for the Wessex School’s Poetry Slam. You can read about my work with both schools here.

After this, I hopped on the train back home to go and see Anne Ford, the Director of Warsash Theatre Club‘s annual pantomime. I sat with her to go over the final details for the programme for the spring production, Ghost Train (click here for ticket info). We then discussed ideas for this year’s pantomime, Aladdin.

Thursday 25th – Student Ambassador Awards. Thursday was a wonderful day, I got to see all of the other Student Ambassador’s again, and celebrate the years I’ve spent working with them during my time at Solent.  Here are some pictures I got with them:

We spent some time eating cake and chatting, before heading down for the awards ceremony. I had nominated two Ambassadors for awards and they both won! Chris didn’t win the Peer Recognition Award, which I nominated him for, but got one of the staff awards instead. It was so lovely to see everyone being thanked for their hard work.

About a week before, whilst still in Budapest, I received an email saying I had been nominated for an award! But before going into the ceremony, Rosie and I had been chatting, and she had nominated me for the Peer Recognition Award. However, an old friend of mine, Alan, was awarded this title. So I sat back, and appreciated everyone else receiving their awards.

Little did I know that I would be awarded Mentor of the Year by the university staff. Apparently I also got the award for best reaction, as I think the shock was very clear on my face! I was thrilled to have been considered for an award, let alone actually win one! Here are the photos of some of the winners:

Friday 26th – Bournemouth Day Trip. To celebrate the end of my course, my boyfriend and I hopped on a train to Bournemouth for a day out in the sun. We had a wonderful day seeing all of the sights – everything from the pier to the Russel-Cotes House and Garden. Here are some of the photos I snapped on my phone:

Saturday 27th – Southampton Riverfest 2017. Way back when I started Hammer and Tongue Southampton, local poet Dave Hubble invited me to perform at something called Riverfest. As I hadn’t performed much at this point, I eagerly accepted. And finally, this event came around on Saturday.

I popped my head in the spoken word tent early to see the SO:Write Women perform, and then came back later to hear some familiar faces read for the first time. It was a great experience, and I felt so lucky to be surrounded by so many talented people. The lovely Joanna Barnard got this photo of me performing my set:

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I performed four poems, Màlgæta, The Danube, The Willow Tree and If I Should Have a Daughter (After Sarah Kay). After I finished my performance, I was inundated with kind, supportive words from both strangers and friends. I still get very nervous onstage, but felt truly welcomed at Riverfest. This has made me eager to perform more, and I can’t wait for the next opportunity!

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