When you talk about Kynren, and believe me as volunteers we talk about it a lot, it’s because we are so proud of the project and of our own personal achievements.
But what stands out for me is without any question, it’s the people.
After the first successful season and now gearing up for season 2, the only questions that should be asked is;
‘What is Kynren?’
‘And what does it mean to you?’
For me Kynren is many things, I mentioned this without going into detail yesterday.
Yes it’s a fantastic, tremendous, outstanding show, with many other words that can describe and express how it makes you feel.
And all that have witnessed it have done.
But for me, Kynren – An Epic Tale of England, only tells half the tale.
There’s no doubting it’s an utterly impressive live outdoor show that is unique to the UK, but bearing in mind each performance has been delivered by a 1000 volunteers, and added by a few hundred more in high anticipation of Season 2.
Each of these people have come together for many personal reasons and stories that I hope to share with you throughout this year.
But these are just regular people, who have come together to give back, to volunteer their time to help improve their town, or surrounding areas.
Some have hobbies or common interests in acting or dancing, some have wanted to take on a new challenge or had wanted to welcome all the visitors to the area.
The Archers all have lives, they work, they go to school, they are part of families, they each have responsibilities, or other interests outside of this amazing project, but you can’t help coming back for more and more.
Each of these people, are what makes me feel proud when someone asks about Kynren.
The show is incredible, but the people, I’m speechless when I talk about them, they make me so proud, and in turn they make me feel proud as I was one of them too.
You only have to look at the children and the teenagers to know how great this project is, to have been fortunate to watch each of them grow in confidence from their first rehearsals to the end of an award winning first season.
They make me proud, these are the next generation of volunteers and performers that will continue to drive Kynren on to new bounds.
It prompted a question that I asked myself several weeks ago.
‘What must it be like to be a teenager right now?’
Kynren is providing so many opportunities to learn, to discover new interests and passions that you may never knew existed in your being.
I know it has literally done that for me, writing makes me feel alive.
But if Kynren was here when I was a teenager? What would I be doing? What role would I take part in? Would I have the confidence at all to take part?
I’d like to think I would be, I know for certain just looking at the volunteers of all ages it would have brought me on leaps and bounds, just as it has done for many of the kids and young adults too.
For me, it has challenged me to become resourceful, to care more, to stand up and be counted when it really mattered, and never be afraid to show your passion.
If you dream it, you can do it.
To have something so special on your doorstep, that no one else in the UK has, that the trust of deliverance has been put in the hands of volunteers, rather than seasoned professionals, and the opportunity for the town of Bishop Auckland has been equally matched by Jonathan Ruffer and by Kynren, is another reason to make you feel proud and honoured to be a part of it.
It’s going to be a strange feeling not going to be there from now on, to not be a part of the action, a part of the camaraderie, to miss out on well… just not being there.
But Kynren is in safe hands, and that’s because Kynren is a community project, and no matter what, it always will be.
When you attend this Summer, yes enjoy the show, it will be like something you will never of seen before, and if you were here last year, that includes you too.
Enjoy the scenery, the rolling landscapes that Kynren sits besides, look at the amazing wild flowers on the walk into the site.
But don’t forget to look at the people, the volunteers, the Archers, because when you look and take notice, you’ll realise that they are Kynren, the real Kynren.
The heartbeat to the whole project.
To book your tickets for one of the 17 live, action packed shows please visit the Eleven Arches website here: http://www.elevenarches.org/