Posts Tagged ‘summer of give’

  • avatar By VJonny 15th December 10

    With 2010 drawing to a close it’s that time of year, a time to reflect on the past twelve months and time to look forward to a brand new decade…I’d love to tell you everything that we’ve been up to but it may take several blog posts (no rest for the wicked here!) so I thought I’d share just a few personal highlights.

    bass6My life at v started back in May just before festival fever was ready to sweep the country . Volunteers from around England brought their wild and wacky talents into play to entertain festival goers and spread the word of volunteering. I was lucky enough to join the bigvbus at the Summer Of Give tour in Weston Super Mare for a fantastic weekend at T4 On The Beach! It was there that I met the lovely Megan who had travelled all the way from North London at 5am to photograph and get her free festival ticket. Megan wasted no time and got stuck in photographing and fighting her way to the front of the crowds to catch a peak of artists such as Dizzee Rascal and Professor Green. Meanwhile, back on the bus beatboxer Bass6 had whipped the crowds into a frenzy - the atmosphere was amazing and multiplied by the enthusiasm of our super talented volunteers. We all came home shattered but truly fulfilled. The fantastic thing about Summer of Give is that it makes festivals accessable; you don’t need to spend lots of money to have a great weekend and see your favourite artists, all you need to do is give a little time to entertain- what an amazing idea for a swap! For those who don’t have the chance to get away over the summer months what better way to keep active, entertained and meet some really cool people?

    This wasn’t the last we saw of the big ol’ purple bus as it made it’s way around the country for the vexciting tour in autumn as we visited Universities and Colleges around the country. Whilst University can be an amazing time, making the transition from graduating to the world of work can often be difficult and right now is perhaps one of the toughest times in recent years for young people to make the transition (as a recent graduate I know too well). Aside from being fun, volunteering is also a great avenue for building the contacts and skills you need to get the jobs you want – representatives from Redbull, Bright Futures, Lattitude Global Volunteering and more ran workshops and Q&As sharing first hand, industry advice.

    natawards1One of the most touching moments for me this year has been reading through the stories of vinspired Regional Award Winners. Our work is really all about the volunteers – the unsung heroes who dedicate time selflessly for their communities and the vinspired National Awards are a way for us to give back and acknowledge some of these exceptional individuals. For many volunteering can be the first step on a ladder to transforming a person’s life: finding a purpose or direction when they’ve found themselves swaying off course, whilst for others it can be a way of giving back to those less fortunate. People like this are the silent backbone of our society – leading the way to inspire those around them and working tirelessly to help those most in need of care and support. Whilst there may only be eight winners in the vinspired National Awards, every individual who has ever taken the time to volunteer should stand proud and I would like to hope that vinspired as a platform is a positive aid towards helping make this possible.

    IMG_0818Looking ahead we’re at an exciting period – response to the new vinspired iPhone app has been phenomenal and we look forward to continuing to embrace more positive developments like this in the future.

    So what are your plans for the new year? Perhaps you feel inspired to take up a new hobby or you think that 2011 could be your year to give back and make a mark.

    If you’re stuck for ideas we’ve created a category especially for New Year’s Resolutions. So why wait? Now’s the time…

    We’d love to hear what you’ve been up to this year, maybe you had a chance to hop onboard the bigvbus or you found an opportunity on that has personally inspired you – however big or small we’d love to know.

  • avatar By VJonny 22nd November 10

    From appearing on BBC2′s The Weakest Link and Blue Peter to recently winning the World DMC DJ Championships for the third time, our Summer Of Give volunteer DJ Switch is indeed a man of many talents! We caught up with DJ Switch himself just after winning the DMCs to find out more…

    switchSo, you’ve recently won the World DMC Championships for the third time! For those who’ve never been tell us a bit about the competition and how it works?

    Well, there are three categories you can enter – there’s the 6 minute showcase-style competition which has been going now for 26 years. There’s the team competition – 6 minutes with 2 to 4 DJs on up to 6 turntables – which I’ve entered as well with my crew for the past few years. And then there’s my favourite, the Battle For World Supremacy, which I’ve won three years running, and it’s a head-to-head knockout style competition.

    Each round you get 2 DJs with 2 rounds each and you have to do everything you can to show off, insult and defeat your opponent. It’s really enjoyable – I even get to insult people’s mums. It’s a very personal battle because you just have to be better than the guy you’re directly up against, although back stage it’s super friendly. We even end up going “oh, I like how you insult my country at the end there” to each other!

    As a professional DJ what initially drew you to volunteering and how has it impacted upon the work you do outside, professionally?

    It opens up doors you wouldn’t know were there otherwise. You can make really good connections, whatever your industry is, because the other people who’ve volunteered to showcase are normally really good at what they do as well. You not only have a good time but you also meet people who notice how good you are or what potential you have and can give you handy tips on how to get further -  I’ve met some really useful contacts.

    I could easily say I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in, being able to DJ full time, without volunteering. One good turn deserves another.

    Travelling around the country with vinspired’s Summer Of Give playing at many of the top festivals this year must have been great fun. What was a personal highlight for you taking part?

    Haha – Jedward breaking a leg! I think they were all quite enjoyable, least of all because my musical cohort, beatboxer / host / chatterbox Bass6, was around for everyone as well, and between us we have quite a good double act vibe going. I don’t think I could single out one moment as more enjoyable than the rest. I had a bit of a bad time getting down to Relentless Boardmasters near Plymouth. You can just take the M5 to get most of the way there but that morning it was shut for the first few junctions! Everything turned out fine in the end though. I like to think what kids get out of seeing me and Bass6 doing our thing is that maybe they’ll be inspired to get into it or stick with what they really want and love to do. It’s great thatpeople are interested -they always come up after my show and say how much they loved it, so that always makes my day.

    Did any other volunteers/acts catch your eye – which were your favourites, if you could swap your talent with any of the other volunteers you saw who would it be and why?
    As much as I like to think otherwise, I don’t have many other skills to draw on. All of the freestyle footballer guys and gals were pretty cool, I reckon a lot of kids wanted to swap something for theirs! I’m always a little envious of Bass6 as well, the range of sounds he can make with the old mouth is just astonishing. But I’ve known him for a while, and I’m slowly draining him of his skills anyway!

    Any advice for budding bedroom DJs and turntablists?
    Take every opportunity you find. You never know where they could lead.

    Outside of DJing/music based activities what else would you love to volunteer to do or are there any particular causes you feel passionate about?
    My younger brother is quite heavily autistic and I used to be a young carer, so anything that turns up along those lines I’ll leap onto. I saw some news articles recently about there being four times as many kids having to care for someone in their family that figures previously showed and I know from experience that it’s really useful to get time out of the house whenever you can, in that kind of situation. And I do pop back home whenever I can to give my parents a hand and give them some kind of break.

    What can we look out for from you in the near future?

    I’m featured in a Radio 1 Electro Swing special coming out on the 20th November, which I’ve not heard back yet, so I’m quite excited just for that. Also, keep your eyes open for some electro swing at a festival near you!

    Are you a budding DJ or MC? Fancy volunteering in something music based? Why not look over here to find activities in your area.

    Find out more and keep up to date with our award winning volunteer DJ Switch over Myspace, Twitter or Facebook.

  • avatar By VJonny 4th July 10

    What a day it’s been! The v team arrived last night in sunny Weston-super-Mare for the latest leg of the Summer Of GiveT4 On The Beach!

    We arrived just in time for dinner and it was only right we sampled the local delicacy – good old fish and chips, recommended by volunteer coordinator Damien to set us up for what was to be a long, fun-filled day ahead on the bigvbus.

    Act Lyk U Kno!, Bass6, Master B-line and DJ Vibes provided the soundtrack to an amazing day on the bigvbus which featured everything from ‘Freestyle Football’ to ‘Ballgowns On The Beach’, balloon modelling, fashion, jewelery workshops and more!


    I could tell you all about it but I think it’s only right our volunteers pick up from here! So take it away Dave, Sam and Megan…

    T4 On The Beach 2010

    Dave and Sam (Miss Bubble’s Balloon Modelling):

    So, it’s about 2:30pm and our time volunteering on the bigvbus at T4 On The Beach is coming to an end… Having arrived on Friday we’ve enjoyed a relatively relaxing weekend camping before the festival began on the Sunday, where in our first four hours we were shocked to find the support the festival goers had for both the concept of volunteering and the benefits of being involved.

    Our mission was simple: to entertain with balloons and facepaint! Before this I (Dave) didn’t realise that something like this could be done at events and certainly didn’t think it could be done through volunteering. Sam had done similar things before at local events, and I had volunteered quite a lot looking after children and people with disabilities so this was definitely a step up. The application process on the v website was straightforward and so here we are on the bigvbus presenting ourselves as the act “Miss Bubble’s Balloon Modelling” which the masculine part of our act, Dave, is ever so pleased about…!
    Balloons and facepainting proved very popular with every person in the audience, but most importantly, it was good fun and spread the word about volunteering and the good it can do!
    The beatboxer and the freestyle footballer were incredible to watch and work alongside, accentuating the already fantastic atmosphere that everyone enjoyed.  In a nutshell we would really recommend it, not only for the wonderful message being promoted, but because it is just pure good fun!
    Now to enjoy the rest of T4!!! :)

    Dave & Sam xx

    Megan (Photographer):

    Hello, I’m at T4 On The Beach on a big, purple bus.
    Today has been an awesome time volunteering as a photographer for the Summer of Give scheme, down in beautiful Weston-super-Mare. I particularly enjoyed waking up at 5am, having only had a few hours sleep the night before (I was really excited you see!) As soon as I arrived at the festival, I was shocked by the mass amount of people here and also a bit scared at the amount of seagulls which seemed to be hovering very close to our heads.
    When I finally found the bigvbus I got stuck into taking photos right away. The atmosphere was buzzing with many festival goers who seemed to b28256_10150202456565048_26773595047_13103968_157338_ne particularly interested in Dave and Sam’s balloon modelling. I attempted to get amongst the crowd and take a few shots of the live acts – this proved difficult, only being 5ft 2, but I did the best I could!
    The definite highlight of the festival so far has been watching Jedward on stage. Not for their talents but when one of them (I don’t know which one – they’re both the same to me) fell on stage and injured his foot! He then proceeded to continue the act on one foot, hopping around the stage, before jumping into the crowd. Truly hilarious, poor guy…
    When I applied for volunteering with vinspired, I had no idea volunteering could involve absolutely anything you wanted. I didn’t even think they would consider my application, but here I am, at T4 on the Beach for free, doing something I really enjoy and I would highly recommend it!

    Love Megan :)


    So, there we have it, another festival done and dusted but the Summer Of Give is far from over – we’ve got loads more still to come so keep your eyes peeled to our Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on all our festival antics and don’t forget to check out more of Megan’s awesome photos from T4OTB HERE!

    To find out more about the Summer Of Give and other festivals you’ll be able to catch our bigvbus at this summer have a peek HERE.

  • avatar By Jemima Jordan 11th June 10

    Summer of Give bigvbusSo for those of you that think today is just about the start of The World Cup, I am afraid to tell you that you are sorely mistaken! Today is also the very day that we kick off official day one of Summer of Give, where we go to five festivals across England, and showcase young volunteers’ skills. This weekend we are at Isle of Wight Festival, and we have got some lovely cameo bloggers who will be letting you know how we get on!

    Our first fantastic festival blog comes courtesy of Claire and Fliss! Don’t forget you can check out more of our crazy antics and photos over at our Facebook fan page.

    Claire and Fliss’ festival blog

    Friday 11th June – First day of the Isle of Wight festival

    After a rainy start and some already aromatic toilets, we make our way to the vinspired bus…

    Lisa is an expert in origami and is teaching members of the public how to make animals; we take the Cheerleaders and the birthday boy!opportunity to make some leopard print and zebra print frogs – and they actually hop. Lisa subscribed to the vinspired website but was ignorant of the Summer of Give project until she was sent an email about it;  now she’s here with 67000 festival revelers, a group of cheerleaders, some physics busters (that’s us) and some major superstars!  Quite a way to start the summer.  Lisa’s first few customers make a dinosaur and a bird  – caw caw!  As Lisa says, she is proof that “volunteering is not just picking up rubbish.”

    Meanwhile, outside the bus the cheerleaders are wowing the crowds, performing lifts and throws for the public in their brand new shiny vinspired uniforms.  After an easy Backwards Pitch, Amy is launched into a Twist-cradle, and a cheer erupts from the surrounding crowd.

    Accosting members of the public, the cheerleaders grab a festival birthday boy and before he knows what is happening, he’s thrown into the air and purple and silver pom-poms are thrust into his hands.  Afterwards he says that he’s “Never felt so scared in my life,” but the huge grin across his face would imply that he secretly enjoyed it.

    Whilst the cheerleaders take a well earnt break, Charlotte the football freestyler takes over; that girl has got skills – the ball seems to be magnetically attracted to her feet.  “I always played football when I was younger,” she says, “I played in midfield and I always liked the technical stuff…my agency got me the gig here at the Isle of Wight festival.”   As for her opinion of vinspired?  “It’s good because people can see that it’s fun to volunteer.”

    Emma and Lucy are beavering away making Critters.  They found out about vinspired’s Summer of Give through an advertisement in a creative magazine, and being creative types, they jumped at the opportunity to share their passion:  “I expected the festival to be fun, and to interact with the public” says Emma, “it’s good to make people more aware of vinspired.”

    The Cheerleaders are at it again, manic grins on their faces and impossible high kicks performed.  Having been picked up and thrown about, one festival goer said that he loved the experience:  “its a great thing you’re doing here” he spluttered when he returned to the ground “Crowds outside the bigvbus…and the cheerleaders are great!”

    A quick wander round the festival site gets us all excited for the performances tonight – Jay Z is headlining and the roadies are testing out the equipment – not a bad place to be considering our ticket was provided by vinspired for our efforts.  Tomorrow the physics busting begins!

    Fliss and Claire xxx

    To apply for Summer of Give, head to the website.

    For more pictures and updates from the Summer of Give project, go to the Facebook page.

  • avatar By Jemima Jordan 16th April 10

    Afternoon all, how’s it going?

    This week has been a busy sorta week for all of us at v, but boy have we got some snazzy stuff to show for it! OK, so I might have escaped back to Wales for a belated Easter break avec my family, but I can surely assure you that everyone else has been very busy making the campaign of all campaigns, otherwise known as…


    (*ahem… *queue round of applause*… *ahem*Why thank you*)

    This fantabulous campaign is offering 18-25 year olds all over England the chance to get a free ticket to some of the UK’s biggest festivals in return for just 4 hours of their time showcasing their talents. That’s right folks – by giving a miniscule four hours of your time showing off your skills, you could get a free ticket to the following:

    ★    Isle of Wight Festival on 11th – 13th June.
    ★    T4 On the Beach on 4th July
    ★    Relentless Boardmasters on 4th – 8th August
    ★    V Festival on 20th – 22nd August
    ★    Creamfields on 28th – 29th August

    FESTIVAL CROWDSounds good? Well then my little blog-reading chums, what are you doing here? Head to and apply! There are not only just opportunties for you to showcase your talents right slap-bang in the middle fo a festival, we have also got promotional opportunities for those of you that don’t fancy showing off and instead just want to help us spread the word about volunteering!

    Meanwhile, our special London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games inspired vcashpoint is still up and running so get on it immediately budding project-runners! That £2500 for you to set up a volunteering project in your community won’t be around forever! Click here for more details.

    Right well that’s it for me then. I have a niggling hope that I may get 2000 fans this weekend on our Facebook page, so if you fancy helping nudge the action along a little bit, do join or suggest to friends :) Thanks all.