|The Girton Community Web Site|
Girton Parish News - March 2001
Thurs March 8th Senior Youth Club Re-Opens
We believe the best way is to invite the young people along on the 8th
and for them to tell us!
Through the Community Education budget, Impington Village College funds two youth club evenings, based in Cotton Hall, on Thursdays and Wednesdays during term time. The Parish Council supports this youth work in many ways including financially and by meeting with youth workers. At the present time, we have four outstanding youth workers, David Coleman & Caroline Helm on Wednesdays (for young people in school years ,6,7, & 8) and Des Storey & Lizzie Diamond on Thursdays,7-9pm (for years 9, 10 & 11)
A challenge today
What a challenge it is today, for our young people to grow up. The ups and downs facing our youngsters, both in and out of school, are extremely demanding and touch all facets of community life. Schools are just one part of life's jigsaw, a major partner in enabling our young people to fulfil their potential. The 'Community' is another major piece in the overall picture. Within Girton I have been overwhelmed by the support and genuine interest that the Parish Council, the Church and its Youth Works Committee have given to our young people. It is clear to me that the young people of Girton matter! This is clearly identified through the facilities and the level of financial support given to Youth work within the community.
Highly motivated youth
I have worked with young people for many years and am still amazed and
highly motivated by their ability to adapt, cope and flourish in such a
turbulent and technologically advanced world. I believe in our young
people and clearly, so do Girton - together I am certain of a bright future,
but we must not be complacent. If you have some spare time, which
you would be willing to share with our young people, please let either
a member of the Parish Council know or contact me at IVC - we would appreciate
your involvement either as a volunteer or as a qualified youth worker or
as someone able to assist in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
Finally, I would like to thank, publicly, the members of the Girton
Youth Works Committee for all the hours and interest that they have devoted
to our young people, it is greatly appreciated.
Give till it Hurts
Jeff Skoll, vice-president of strategic planning and analysis for eBay Inc., says, "Out here in Silicon Valley you see an awful lot of young folks that all of a sudden have a fair bit of money and some of them have a real desire to give back to the world‹and it is different from your traditional philanthropy."
New-school philanthropy, he explains, is less about signing large cheques, public preening, and charity balls. Instead, here is tithing with a difference. "We tithe 10 percent of our profit, which last year was £215,000. We divide it among all our employees to give away. The lowest-paid employee gets £700 to give away, and the highest gets £2,500 to give. We gave to 160 charities last year. Someone in the despatch department came up to me with tears in his eyes. He had the chance to give £700 to his parish to buy robes for the choir. He's become a local hero."
Skoll explains that young, "newly-minted" givers anticipate seeing the effects of their gifts within their lifetimes and want a more hands-on role.
What creates great community values and attitudes in companies like these?
A few weeks ago one of the Sunday papers listed the Top Fifty UK Companies, as ranked by their employees. The research identified key areas which are needed to create work-places capable of delivering superior business results. A crucial element is the respect that managers give their staff.
Employees of the company at the top of the list are given the freedom to work when and where it suits them. A sample of employees comments indicates the kind of results that can follow:
"Everyone is pleasant, and there is a buzz about the company and a feeling that we all play well and are rewarded well."
"The vice president is never too busy to speak to you and that is very important."
Staff at one company are known as 'colleagues', and such respect is appreciated. "The management listen too you. If you have a problem they try to sort it out."
Many employees also say they that are treated as equals. The staff experience meritocracy in action: no reserved parking spaces or executive dining rooms; first names only in the office; all staff fly economy class; the most junior people in meetings are expected to offer opinions - and lower level staff are asked to rate superiors.
Pay and benefits do not energise the staff so much as long-standing values, especially trust and individual honesty.
It is important to acknowledge the value of leadership in creating great workplaces. If the chief executive does not have a commitment to making his or her company an outstanding workplace, it is not likely to happen
The principles behind these actions, though, are simple enough and have been known for two thousand years. Jesus took a basin and washed his followers' feet as a sign of servant-leadership. He said to his disciples, in effect, "I no longer call you 'employees', because workers don't know what the boss is doing or planning. No, I call you my friends."
He also defined what he meant by 'friends'. "Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends."
Perhaps that's the real key.
It was while strolling through the park that leads from the town to the pier that I had another memory from the past, for suddenly a voice exclaimed “It’s Phillip Staves!” The park was quite busy and I looked around blankly to see who could have spoken. The voice belonged to a young woman who approached me and said “Don’t you remember me? Soham Village College.” My mind was now frantically trying to place her. I had taught at Soham for nine years, so it could be any of a thousand girls, but if she had been a pupil why was she using my first name? Seeing my blank look, she told me her name and then the penny dropped, she had been on the teaching staff, in my department, nine years ago. I apologised for not recognising her, and in my embarrassment suggested that she had aged. She graciously laughed off my blunder and said it didn’t matter as she had just had her age guessed by showman on the pier who had told her she was well under thirty. We chatted for a few minutes, said good-bye, and walked towards the sea front.
There on the pier was the showman’s booth and we decided to let him guess our ages. He looked at me, wrote something down on a piece of paper and asked me to say my age. I told him and he then showed me on the paper a number five years lower than the figure I had said. Laura then had a turn and again he was under by quite a large margin. Next it was Beth’s go. “Nine”, said the man, eight was the truth and Beth was rather pleased. Only Andrew was disappointed for the man guessed eleven, spot on. Like my teaching colleague from earlier on, three of us came away from the pier feeling quite good. For I guess many of us like to think of ourselves as being different to what we actually are.
Thankfully God loves us just as we are. He does not pretend we are something we are not, but loves us whatever age we are and however we feel about ourselves. We are always his children, which means he still delights in our fascination of the world and as our heavenly Father he promises us that he will always be on hand to reach out and rescue us should we need to call out to him.
In recent weeks children have taken part in educational visits to enhance the learning that is taking place in the classrooms.
Year 1 and Year 2 visited the Peterborough Museum. They took part in handling objects, viewing museum exhibits and talking about how things had changed over time.
Year 3 and Year 4 visited the Synagogue in Cambridge. After a guided tour of the Synagogue, they were given time to handle artefacts and ask questions.
Year 5 and Year 6 took part in a Maths Tricks Lecture held for local schools. Several children were chosen to take part in demonstrations, and all the children received a maths T-shirt.
All children and staff agree that these visits have been both enjoyable and informative.
Susan Baker, Headteacher