Ross Jenkins - Time and Talents

I very much enjoyed my time spent working with Kieren McIntosh at Time and Talents. He was a pleasure to work with and I found it interesting to see how a professional like himself handled some potentially tricky situations.

My placement started by working in and around the office at Time and Talents. When I arrived on the Tuesday I was straight away swept up into the London madness, we definitely do not walk that fast in Somerset!

The first day was really just an introduction into life in the office, but I did however do quite a bit of stapling! It was lovely to meet all the people that Kieren worked with who all seemed to be very passionate about what they were doing. I donâ€â„¢t think the phone would ever go for more than two rings beforeâ€Â¦ "Time and Talents, how can I help?â€Â That evening we went to the Poland meeting. Here we went over what we felt we would expect from our experience at Auschwitz. It was nice to meet some of the people that I would be going with and to hear their personal views on what it would be like to go around Auschwitz.

Although this is probably not relevant to the report I would like to say that my first meal at Kierens was top draw, he does make a mean curry! He did have a lot to live up to after I told him that my grandma comes from India!My next day was spent in the office for the morning and then I had the pleasure of going bowling with the stroke club, pretty good I must say! It was really interesting to see how some of the workers went about aiding the people and how quickly they adapt to different peoples needs and conditions that require different types of attention. I enjoyed playing myself and can I just say that my team was very good. Everyone that was on the trip had a good time.

My next day was spent in the office and we went to meet an elderly lady but we were not meant to be seeing her until the next day! It was very nice to meet her and after a cup of tea we had to leave to come back the next day for lunch. That afternoon we went back to the office for a while where I helped with some more â€Ëœbits and bobsâ€â„¢. That evening Kieren took me over to have dinner with his friend, Chris. Sorry to keep mentioning food but he made a very good stew that rivalled Kierens curry. After the meal Kieren took me on a tour of London in the car, Amazing place, beautiful at night.

On Friday we went to visit the lady again. She was a big part of Time and Talents when she was younger and it was really nice to hear about what she did for the organisation and how she still supports what it does nowadays. She explained to me how Time and Talents is the name of the organisation because it is about people from the community sharing their time and talents with each other. Hearing that allowed me to understand and appreciate the work that the individuals do to maintain this idea of time and talent sharing. Back to the office next, they will certainly miss my coffee cup cleaning! Even though I did staple and clean the cups to a very high standard I did do some more important work that actually helped, I hope! Whilst I was in the office over the days I did a check on the equipment that the organisation posses.

Monday morning, up at 2.45! What a struggle! The morning was just a blur really. You know when you are so tired that you are set to automatic, answering every question with just a yes or a no, and the whole aim of being awake is to find a suitable place to go back to sleep! Our flight was relaxing with most people I think getting some sleep. When we got to Krakow we had a tour which included gong to Oscar Shindlerâ€â„¢s factory. It was amazing to actually see places that had been in the film, Shindlerâ€â„¢s list. The next day we went to Auschwitz, which was a shock to say the very least. I found myself walking around picturing the thousands of Jews that endured the sick minded torture in this evil place, feeling powerless and drained. It was frightening to know that I was seeing first hand all of the rooms and spaces that witnessed activities of, in my opinion, the most infamous historical event ever. Hitler took his feelings of prejudice to a level that should never be reached by any human being again. An interesting point was raised in our discussion in the evening, is prejudice wrong? And can people relate to what Hitler did in anyway, not specific to the killing of thousands of Jews but to the idea of prejudice?

The next day was spent in a salt mine, over 130 meters below the face of the earthâ€Â¦ I made that sound very dramatic! It was interesting to see all the sculptures and the salt crystals. I must say though that the lift coming back up to the top was probably more enjoyable! Iâ€â„¢m not going to lie!

The next day was spent relaxing, a good laugh. The whole experience was as good as I had expected it to be but nothing could prepare a person for the shock of recognising the level of psychopathic madness that came over Hitler to do what he did.

An amazing experience, Thank you Time and Talents and especially Kieren. Also thank you to Millfield School and the Rank Foundation for making this fantastic experience possible.

Ross Jenkins, CAP

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