What's been happening

June 2021

For links to the groups mentioned, please visit my Socials and Links page. 

Sun 6th – Jointly organised a 5 mile race for Pontefract Athletics Club. Carried out a risk assessment lap of the course before the start, set up and managed the start and finish lines and collated times upon completion of the race. All runners enjoyed themselves running safely and well. 

Fri 4th – I have a new lodger! My friend is moving house and has sold his old house and his new house isn’t ready for three to four weeks. I’ve agreed to look after his cat until then. It’s going to be nice having a cat around the house again after so long without. It will also be the purrfect way to ease back into being a cat owner as I want to get two of my own later this summer when all my house and garden prep is complete. 

Thurs 3rd – 30 years ago today, I started work for the first time. As a young, thin, wide-eyed 16 year old I became employed by Royal Mail where I stayed working for 7 years before moving on. I am still friends with many of my former colleagues from those days. They taught me a lot – about life, work, people, and much, much more. Many happy days there. My career has moved direction several times since then and I am still learning – about life, work, people, and much, much more! I have been working in the NHS world for the last 17 years and there is still much more to learn! I think the government have me down for 21 more years until I can draw my state pension. By that reckoning, my career is currently 59% complete!  

Tues 1st – Removed non-members from Pontefract Athletics Club‘s members only areas. Notifications had gone out to everyone from April onwards that renewal was due and that runners should approach the run leaders should they be intending to renew their membership but hadn’t so far. Only people who we had not heard anything from or seen in that two months were removed. This was accepted and understood why by most people. Sometimes leadership requires taking actions that not everyone agrees with. 

May 2021

Sat 29th – Sun 30th – I started some work in the garden to make some design changes to the layout and usage of the garden. One aspect I am changing is to alter the borders that have decorative stones layered on top of the soil. I am removing the stones and stripping down to the soil so that I can plant bushes and plants to develop a more plant-based garden which can bring happiness and colour year-round hopefully.

Tues 25th, Fri 28th, Sun 30th – Drinks and catch-ups with friends that I haven’t seen in over a year. Being able to travel to see friends and spend a few hours with them socially was a big lift to me. No matter how resilient we may or may not have felt over the last eighteen months, seeing friends and friendly faces around certainly gives an unrivalled boost. This summer will be a time for lots of reunions and happier times. 

Wed 26th – The contributors to the new club badge sign for Pontefract Collieries FC met at the football ground for a photograph with the club badge. 

Fri 21st – Sun 23rd – Building work commenced at my house as my kitchen extension started. I am converting a external storage cupboard into being part of the kitchen. Part of this work is to install an extra window and to create a cat flap area for when I look to get cats later this summer. 

Thu 20th – The new club badge sign for Pontefract Collieries FC has been installed on the side of the main stand. This gives the club a greater presence to those walking by the ground. The badge manufacturer was sourced by me and it was my liaisons between the club and the supporters group We’re In The Shed, of which I am a member, that led to the supporters group funding this installation and playing our part in the legacy and outward improving image of the club. 

Sun 16th – Jointly organised a 10k race for Pontefract Athletics Club. Carried out a risk assessment lap of the course before the start, set up and managed the water station for the runners half way round, then collated times upon completion of the race. All 20 runners enjoyed themselves running safely and well. 

Fri 14th – Confirmed installation date of Wed 19th May for the new Pontefract Collieries club badge that is being installed on the side of the building at the club. This has been donated by We’re In The Shed fans group of which I am a member. By getting this large club badge on the side of the building, the club are taking steps to inform the community who they are and what they do. 

Wed 5th – Had my second Covid vaccination. Really proud of how well this country has managed a mass-vaccination roll-out so quickly and well organised. We are very fortunate to live where we do. 

Mon 3rd – Drove to Scarborough to spend the morning taking in sea air and enjoying the scenery. The weather was great for the morning and torrential rain on the way home. It’s better that way round than the other way round. This short trip did me the world of good. We can get too wrapped up in things and doing stuff, when sometimes what we need is to just sit and watch the world go by for a while. 

Sat 1st – Met with Pontefract Collieries FC to discuss the preparations for the new season. Used the Trello Kanban board to help prioritise tasks and set realistic targets for workplans and to review offerings for supporters. Took away some suggestions to review with fellow season ticket holders. 

Sat 1st – Completed the Inclusive Activity Programme online e-learning course through UK Coaching. Leading sessions with people with disabilities is not something that I have too much experience in the past. I have coached some disabled rugby players and worked well them with them. They told me I treated them as being one of the team and included them as people as well as players. This is important for any player – to be made welcome, valued, and supported where necessary. This useful course gave some good instruction on this aspect. 

April 2021

Thu 29th – Fri 30th – Reviewed my involvement and commitments, and made appropriate adjustments. We can easily get over-committed into doing more than we are able to do. Time is not an infinite commodity and sometimes projects are bigger than the time or energy available. This isn’t any reflection on areas that are de-prioritised, but an acceptance that there are areas that give energy and areas that cost energy. One area I want to spend time on is personal development, and one aspect of that is making sure that any time commitments match specific life goals and areas that can demonstrate short term visible differences.

Thu 29th – Stepped back from work with Pontefract Civic Society Futures group. Time commitments are difficult to meet at times when you’re involved with so many different groups. I have decided to concentrate on the work with Pontefract Athletics Club and my short term consultancy assistance for Pontefract Collieries FC. With only so much time in the week, it is important to be sensible about it and to allow time for yourself as well as for giving to others. You can’t pour water out of a jug that is empty.

Wed 28th – Met with Pontefract Civic Society Futures Group reviewing progress over the last few meetings, adding clarifications and amendments to the log that I had created. Identified that there are a number of blockers and restrictions that would impede progress in certain areas, some are within the control of the group and some are external. 

Sun 25thPontefract Athletics Club held the first Grand Prix internal club race of the year. I coordinated the starting waves in accordance with England Athletics guidance, collated finishing times, filmed a promotional video about the day, and published this to the club’s social media accounts

Sat 24th and Sun 25th – Arranged introductory conversations for Pontefract Collieries FC with two prospective local councillors to discuss the club’s work in the community, improvements at the ground, and to discuss ideas about developing the land at the club to promote environmental sustainability and growth.

Thu 22nd – Useful conversations with the Chairman of Pontefract Rugby Union club about co-operation and collaboration relating to sport in the town, promoting active lifestyles, and publicising the good work going on in the area that needs shouting louder to reach more people. 

Wed 21st – Met as part of the Pontefract Civic Society Futures Group – an internal working group which shapes the way the society operates in all facets, with a focus on marketing and communication. 

Wed 21st – Confirmation has come through along with a certificate to say that I have passed my exam this week. I can now say that I have passed the BCS Practitioner Certificate in Modelling Business Processes. BCS is the British Computer Society – The Chartered Institute for IT

Mon 19th – Wed 21st – Personal Development. Attended the BCS (British Computer Society) training course – Practitioner Certificate in Modelling Business Processes. This is to expand my Business Analysis knowledge and is something that I want to be able to branch out more so into in the future.

Sat 17th – Worked with Pontefract Collieries FC on their presentation bid for the Buildbase Community Award. The presentation is part of the pitch for the award of £25,000 of building materials that will make a massive difference to their ability to provide services for the local community as well as for football.  

Tested the new PA system at the Pontefract Collieries FC ground. Impressive sound quality. This will be great for the club when they are able to communicate better with their match-day crowds in this way. 

Fri 16th – Completed the Inspiring Positive Behaviour in Sport online e-learning course through UK Coaching. Leading sessions is one thing, and when everything goes well and everyone does what is expected it is great. When there are behavioural changes though, it is up to the leader or coach to work with that person to inspire change. This useful course gave some good instruction on this aspect. 

Fri 16th – Confirmation has come through along with a certificate to say that I have passed my exam last week. I can now say that I have passed the BCS Practitioner Certificate in Requirements Engineering. BCS is the British Computer Society – The Chartered Institute for IT

Thurs 15th – My first short run in three months! Woohoo! I ran 2km and whilst my breathing needs to get used to the demands I am putting on myself again, I did ok. Much better on the downhill bits than the uphill bits, so that is something for me to consider route-wise in the next few weeks. Glad to be back.

Wed 14th – Meeting with Pontefract Civic Society Futures Group postponed a week to Wed 21st April. 

Tues 13th – Given the all clear by my sports therapist Katie Lodge at Smart Sports Therapy to resume running after a three month break. Due to my gain in weight over the last year, my body has had significantly more strain on it and it can’t be expected to perform as well. Changes are needed. My IT band is loosened enough now away from the muscle and I can now resume short distances as I ease myself gradually back into running. I have been walking and cycling over those three months but I would really love to be able to run once again. 

Sat 10th – Met with Pontefract Collieries FC to plan their bid application for the Buildwise competition. One of three clubs will win £25,000 of materials to develop their facilities. I have been working with the club’s executive on getting the right message across – highlighting benefits to the community, what the materials will enable them to provide for others, and what they’re going to be able to do that sets them apart from other competing clubs.  

Tues 6th – Met briefly with Pontefract Collieries FC to discuss the new club badge that they are having installed on an exterior wall at the club. This will be sourced based on a quote I got from a local company. It will enable the club to have a better identity in the local community. People know there is a football ground but it isn’t currently abundantly clear who they are. This new sign will improve their visibility and inform people. 

Tues 6th to Thurs 8th – Personal Development. Attended the BCS (British Computer Society) training course – Practitioner Certificate in Requirements Engineering. This is to expand my Business Analysis knowledge and is something that I want to be able to branch out more so into in the future. 

5th April – Did some work for Pontefract Athletics Club on membership and recruitment. We are able to take on new members now that we are out of lockdown and it is through the initial engagement that we can inform potential new members what the club is like and whether we can meet their needs. I feel it is important to remember that community groups exist to meet the needs of their members and not just their own desires. This is something that we try to ensure we do at Pontefract Athletics Club. 

4th April – Designed some new social media images for Pontefract Athletics Club to let the local community know about us, what we do, and where to find more information. Working on the first two pillars of community engagement – INFORM, ENGAGE, and then once joined up, to ENTERTAIN. 

Provided feedback to Pontefract Civic Society on the successful Community Showcase event that they ran 27th to 31st March where 29 videos were featured form community group members in the area. As a representative of Pontefract Athletics Club and Pontefract Collieries FC, I was able to pass on the thanks to Pontefract Civic Society and especially to Phil Cook for the hard work they put in to publicise the good work that community groups do in the town and surrounding area.  

3rd April – Pontefract Athletics Club ran the first Saturday session since lockdown. This is a social informal session that is in place for runners who miss their usual Saturday morning parkrun. This session is running until parkrun starts up once again. 

Went to talk with the Chair and Vice-Chair of Pontefract Collieries to talk about progress of a couple of projects we are jointly working on together. The U15s were playing a fixture that afternoon too so it was nice to see organised sport get back under way once again after lockdown. 

1st April – Pontefract Athletics Club ran five different groups at our first Thursday session since lockdown. Our juniors ran a road running session, we ran two different levels of interval training, and two groups did our social 5k run. It was great to have 30 runners all running safely together in their separate groups. 

March 2021

For links to the groups mentioned, please visit my Socials and Links page. 

31st March – Footage that I filmed for Pontefract Athletics Club on 29th March was featured on the BBC Look North lunchtime edition today. Feedback from the BBC was that it was beautifully shot and that the filming really was great. It is nice to hear feedback like that from professionals. Thank you to them for that.

30th March – The video for Pontefract Athletics Club filmed by me, and edited by Pontefract Civic Society was featured as part of Pontefract Civic Society‘s Community Showcase programme. You can see the video here

29th March – The video for Pontefract Collieries filmed by me, and edited by Pontefract Civic Society was featured as part of Pontefract Civic Society‘s Community Showcase programme. You can see the video here

Went to Dorothy Hyman Sports Centre in Cudworth to film a series of videos of the junior track and field athletes of Pontefract Athletics Club in their first session back after the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. It was great to see them all enjoying training together. It is hoped that these videos will be picked up by local media as well as used in forthcoming social media publicity. 

27th March – Held a Community Engagement workshop for Pontefract Collieries. We explored who they are, what they do, what they can offer to the wider community, what they would like from the wider community, explored interaction opportunities, and looked at the initial steps of bridging the gaps and better promoting the good work they do so that a wider audience gets visibility and clearer calls to action. 

25th March – Sent out membership details and days of the new training sessions for Pontefract Athletics Club to existing members for the year ahead. Just need to work on my own fitness now! 🙂 

Planned the Community Engagement framework for Pontefract Collieries for a workshop this Saturday. 

24th March – Met as part of the Pontefract Civic Society Futures Group – an internal working group which shapes the way the society operates in all facets, with a focus on marketing and communication. 

22nd March – Set up new sessions on our club App for Pontefract Athletics Club. We are able to run sessions (under Covid restrictions) from 29th March which we are all very pleased about. Lots of work to be done though this week to ensure this is done safely and within the permitted England Athletics guidance. 

21st March – Conducted a video interview with Pontefract Athletics Club Chairman and Founder for the Pontefract Civic Society Community Showcase event next weekend. 

20th March – Met with Pontefract Collieries Chairman and Vice Chairman to discuss progress, prioritisation, and next steps for their improvement programmes. Discussed opportunities to link in with wider community and to publicise the work they are doing. Conducted a video interview with Vice Chairman and Club Secretary for the Pontefract Civic Society Community Showcase event next weekend.  

17th and 19th March – Liaison within Pontefract Athletics Club management committee about the procurement of new kit and use of new supplier. 

14-15th March – Planning communication for Pontefract Athletics Club members for annual membership renewals / latest newsletter. The membership year starts on 1st April so a busy two weeks ahead. 

13th March – Met with Pontefract Collieries Chairman and Assistant Chairman to discuss progress, prioritisation, and next steps for their improvement programmes. 

Also, worked on Pontefract Athletics Club membership renewal workstream. With the new year for athletics starting in April and our club sessions resuming on March 29th, this work is the preparation for the year ahead and to help answer any questions at the get-go.

Also, discussed potential new members for Pontefract Civic Society with the Chairman. By recruiting new members with specific skills, the society is at an advantage for meeting their aims for future growth.  

11-12th March – Made changes to my website to reflect a change from mostly being about running to being more of a personal blog – what I am involved with, what my interests are, and how I like to spend my time. As times change, as I change, then the changes will be reflected here for others to see and read. 

10th March – Met with Pontefract Civic Society Futures Group to discuss and plan a strategy to increase membership, widen the demographics of membership, and review how the Civic Society can move their digital offering forward to enable greater interaction with the people of Pontefract. 

6th March – Met with Pontefract Collieries FC management committee to map out their workstreams on the new Kanban board. The Colls committee is fully on-board with the new focus and clarity that this brings to them. Greater accountability, improved prioritisation, and the audit trail will be just some of the benefits that they can get from this. 

5th March – I have recruited Pontefract Athletics Club and Pontefract Collieries FC to become Community Group members of Pontefract Civic Society. They are both looking forward to working with the Civic Society and other community groups to bring great benefits to residents of the town and surrounding area that are interested in athletics, road running, or watching football. 

4th March – Met with Pontefract Collieries FC to demonstrate a Kanban board for them to help them stay organised with their off-field development and growth programmes. The Colls are doing great work transforming the Club and I am pleased to be able to help in a management consultant capacity to help them keep abreast of all the streams of work being delivered simultaneously.  

1st March – Met with the Chairman of Pontefract Civic Society and had a fact-finding discussion about where they are currently and where they would like to go and to see if I can help with their aims. 

 

More info…

For links to the groups mentioned, please visit my Socials and Links page.