Tag Archives: Volunteers

Good Luck Archers

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Tonight marks the highly anticipated return of Kynren, in the first live public performance in front of the press.

Both local and national press will be in attendance, and it would come as no surprise if some were international too.

With television, radio, newspapers and bloggers in attendance, alongside what is also classed as a friends, family and local residents night, the excitement is already building on what will be another fantastic spectacle.

All the training is done, all the rehearsals too, and for the newer volunteers tonight marks the very start of their journey of a truly wonderful Summer.

They’ll be nerves, but they are good, it shows you that you care.

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I remember it all too well from this time last year, and without any question it will be something that I will miss this time around.

As documented through this blog over the last few entries, I reluctantly decided to take a break whilst I recover from my health reasons.

And to be honest it’s helped, as most people who know me, they have seen a development of change within me since becoming diagnosed with depression in November.

Although Kynren was a positive within my life, I needed to strip back everything to work on what would help me to get better.

I was even asked again this week if I was making a return as my progress has been so good.

But Season 2, will definitely pass me by, and for me personally, it’s still the correct decision, no matter how jealous I am of everyone who is participating in the project this season.

So what’s new in Season 2?

Lots, I did all of the training before I decided to take a break, and although I’m not going to reveal any details, all I will say is take note of everything going on, on the stage, and don’t blink otherwise you’ll definitely miss something.

“We went last year, why should we go back?”

Why should you go back? Because remember how much you loved it last year, remember how you’ve never seen anything like it before, live, in the North East of England, performed by volunteers, who do it for the love of the project, the love of the town, and the love of the people.

Remember the Experience team, the red jackets and the warm and inviting welcome.

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Remember the beautiful  wild flowers as you walked down our zigzagging pathway towards the village.

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Remember the exhilarating performance, the shivers on your neck, the lump in your throats.

Remember the look in your children’s eyes as they awed in the spectacle, and realised History and Performing Arts is cool.

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Remember the fireworks, the crashes, the bangs that topped off your night, and this image that rounded off a truly magical performance that long lives in your memories.

Remember it all, let yourself be taken back, back to the night that you witnessed Kynren, the envy of your friends, the envy of your family.

And book your tickets again to witness the best live show the UK will see again this Summer.

To find out more information or to book your tickets please visit the Eleven Arches website:

http://www.elevenarches.org

To read more about Kynren and what it is like to volunteer on the project please visit my Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/KynrenBlog/posts/

 

 

 

London and the Awards

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So I headed down to London for the ceremony of the UK Blog Awards 2017.

From my previous blog post, I spoke how winning although it would be nice, wasn’t the overall objective, the main objective of this whole experience was to raise further awareness of the Kynren project, and try and deliver as much exposure that I could.

And I’d like to say I definitely delivered in regards to that.

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So onboard we went heading to London, with no expectations, just to enjoy the whole experience, getting caught up in a moment of reflection and acknowledging my own personal accomplishments.

 

The realisation that I’d taken a blank piece of paper with an idea of writing down my experiences and recording them to a UK individual finalist all inside 12 months.

Even thinking about it now, it still doesn’t ring quite true.

So London, our capital city, the hustle and bustle, the landmarks, the tourists, even the weather, lots going on as always.

The awards were being held in a central location, just past Westminster bridge overlooking both Big Ben and the London Eye.

Armed with suits and sparkling shoes I was here, ready to represent Kynren one final time.

 

 

The awards themselves as expected was a lavish affair, paparazzi waiting to snap as car doors opened, me just casually walking in under the radar.

I was here and I was determined to enjoy it.

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I made a point of arriving on time, I wanted to take as much of the experience in as possible, and although arriving on time, several people had already arrived before me.

This wasn’t just a big opportunity to showcase and promote the Kynren project but it was a good opportunity to meet the industry’s best all under one roof, meeting new people and gaining new and valuable connections.

 

Amongst the many finalists, guests and judges were a number of sponsors showcasing their wares for all to see and become involved in on the evening.

The one that stood out for my blog was this;

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Which resulted in a long conversation with Odeon Cinemas regarding Kynren, in which I couldn’t resist playing them the Kynren trailer from my phone and informing them that their is ‘Only one Arthur when Kynren is in town’.

 

With waiting staff aplenty the drinks were flowing, and quirky food samples based on a funfair theme too.

What’s not to like when you’re being offered beer, mini burgers, fish and chips, popcorn and pick and mix as just a small range of their offerings.

The awards were living up to its hype and more.

The room was a buzz of activity, hundreds of writers and bloggers coming together with hope and anticipation, that it could be them that picks up an award?

I met some truly talented and inspirational people in that room on that night, with potential collaborations to come in the future too.

So, to the main event, we got called into the main room to take our seats.

 

This was it, from just having a go, to here, this was it.

All the writing, all the support from readers and volunteers, all the promotional and media work I had organised and arranged, everything came down to this.

A National Award representing Kynren, representing Bishop Auckland, and most of all representing the Archers.

Win or lose, we do this together.

 

It was fantastic to see our project in the programme, it was fantastic just to be here.

My expectations weren’t high, I didn’t expect to win, I was the only event in an ‘Events and Weddings’ category, so the standard was high.

But it wasn’t about the winning, yeah it would be nice, of course it would, but I didn’t need my name to be called out for my own personal recognition to realise how far I’d come, how much I had already achieved, the original objectives I had well and truly smashed and delivered on.

This was the moment of truth.

The winner is…

 

Congratulations to Whisper and Blush

https://whisperandblush.com/

Totally deserved in my opinion, I had a look through my stiff competition within my category before attending the awards, and this particular blog stood out, well after mine of course.

I had the privilege of meeting the girls after they accepted their award, Melissa and Kate are so humble, yet so passionate about the articles they create, and are great ambassadors for the blogging community.

Whisper and Blush actually won this award last year too, but I’ve already told them that I aim to see them both again next year.

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The night was an unforgettable experience, one in which will long live in my memory.

Even thinking back on it now, the images above of a blank piece of paper, and a starting idea could of ever resulted in what I have achieved.

Thank you to the UK Blog Awards for creating this event, to recognise and acknowledge the talent of writers who do blog, on a wide range of different topics and subject matters.

Thank you for accepting me into your blogging community in which likeminded people come together each week on Twitter to discuss experiences and share advice on a wide range of stimulating questions within #BlogHour which you can’t not help to become more reassured, more confident and supported.

Thank you to the wide range of different writers, bloggers and Vloggers who each share in the same passions as you do, I hope to see you again at an event soon.

My next thank you goes to every single reader, and there has been many, from the UK to around the World, I hope you have found each article interesting and has reached out and encouraged you to come along to one of the performances.

For anyone who is just stumbling across these blog articles for the first time I hope you enjoy them.

But my final thank you has to be reserved for these guys.

https://corryandrew.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/the-volunteers/

The Archers, the volunteers, where would we be without each other.

We all came together for the same reasons, many of us strangers, to becoming friends, best friends, but more than that now we are all a family.

We look out for and after our own, supportive and caring, we encourage our successes, and commiserate on disappointments.

But ultimately I will always be proud to have stood beside each and every one of you.

Season 2, Saturday 1st July, enjoy it as only Archers know how.

Good Luck to all, and I’ll see you on the other side.

 

Kynren Training Day

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I’ve been meaning to post a new blog for a number of weeks now, the next one was and really still is the awards night in April, that I still haven’t got around to finishing off.

I suppose I haven’t finished it or possibly not wanted to finish and post it, as it will be the last line drawn for me within my current Kynren adventure.

But it will be getting posted soon.

Season 2 is now only weeks away, and this year for anyone who regularly reads this blog, I have decided to take a break away from the project.

With different circumstances I’d still be there, I have no doubt or hesitation.

As a recap for anyone who may only be reading this for the first time, I chose with a heavy heart to walk away from something I very much loved, for a personal reason.

That personal reason was I had been diagnosed with depression in November, and no matter how much I tried and how much I wanted to continue, I knew I had to put myself and my health first.

Kynren was my saviour, it was my escape, it was something I could really focus on, a brilliant hobby as such too.

What the project did was introduce me to several different people who have helped to shape me.

Showing me that there is a lot more to volunteering than just giving up your time.

It’s not about the money and not being paid, it’s about the experience, the adventure, the smiles, the laughter, and most of all the memories you create.

During Season 1, I more than played my part, it’s something I have been able to reflect back on over the last couple of months and be really proud of my accomplishments and my achievements.

Kynren also introduced me to someone that would encourage me to write, and now it’s not just something I thought I’d have a go at, it’s a passion, it’s something I’m good at, it’s something I excel in.

And thanks to Helen I’ll always be eternally grateful.

And who knows what Season 3 may hold for me, this year is just a break but never a goodbye.

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So what’s Kynren like outside looking in?

Especially when you’ve witnessed inside looking out?

It’s different I must admit.

From a locals point of view there is still an overwhelming buzz throughout the volunteers, something that I was and still am a part of.

The bond that each Archer has for each other will never wain or never die.

There is a growing community, strengthening each passing day.

A great support network and strong camaraderie spreading throughout the towns and the county.

The volunteers have created that all on their own.

So today brings around another full day of training, I only know because hundreds of new friends volunteering at Kynren have and had told me.

And thesedays were some of my favourite days.

The chance to get back on site, surrounded by new friends and meeting new faces, working together to bring something new, something different, something that the town can be really proud of to Bishop Auckland.

Yes the days are long, the days can be tiresome, but the Kynren site holds a magical feel about it.

I’ve only experienced it before when I’ve been to Disneyland, but it’s something much more.

It’s more than that, because it’s in our town, it’s our project, it’s something we’ve helped to create and hundreds upon thousands will continue to create and share.

Bishop Auckland and Kynren is a place to come, in future years it will be a place to stay and explore too.

It’s something not only am I passionate about but very proud of too.

We’ve come a long way, and will continue to keep growing, developing and learning with it too.

Since I’ve now left the project lots of talk have been about what is going to happen with this blog?

As far as I’m aware it’s the only Kynren Blog that has been written and recorded for the world to read, and the world has been watching and reading too.

Since the UK Blog Awards, Kynren is a project on a different audiences lips, and it’s important to continue telling the story.

This story is about what Kynren is like from a volunteers perspective and that’s what I intend to do.

Sharing some of the volunteers stories of why and how they came to be involved and how the project has changed and helped them.

It also offers me a chance to write from a local residents point of view too, outside looking in.

Kynren Season 2 starts on Saturday 1st July running for 17 show dates, ending on Saturday 16th September.

For more information or to book your tickets please visit the Eleven Arches website:

http://www.elevenarches.org

 

What Makes Me Proud?

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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/

Kynren Teams

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Last night each Archer received an email that we had all been patiently waiting for in anticipation.

This email was a confirmation of which team each volunteer will be participating in during Kynren Season 2.

For me, I had been dwelling on which area of the show or which team would be best for me, towing and frowing from the Experience team that I was apart of in the debut season or trying my hand at another area of the project, potentially within the show team.

I decided several weeks ago to leave that decision to Eleven Arches to make, and this is what they chose.

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The Show Team!!!

Over the course of the Summer, I, alongside each volunteer, each new teammate will be performing to 8,000 visitors each night for 17 performances.

Spectacular.

In previous blogs I have mentioned what it must be like to perform in front of that many people, to feel the tingles run through your body when you witness from you’re own eyes the standing ovations, it’s truly something which can only be described as an incredible, memorable and honoured feeling.

One of which I can’t wait to experience in person for myself.

It’s certainly going to be an interesting year, learning new skills, techniques and learning from the best, our own Archers.

As some of you may know, outside of the Kynren project I will be heading down to Westminster, London in April, competing against the UK’s best bloggers in the UK Blogging Awards 2017, hoping to add another trophy and award to Kynren’s growing list of achievements.

This Blog was originally created as a record, something that I could look back on and treasure and it surely has achieved what I set out for it to become.

What I never realised was it was going to be the very start of something very special, and that’s what Kynren has provided as a whole.

Kynren is providing opportunities as a whole to challenge yourself, to change the way you think, to give you that self belief that you are good enough, you can do it not just think it.

I’ve said many times as have many of the volunteers, Kynren is a game changer.

It’s certainly changed and will continue to change my life for the better.

Its created a personal passion for writing, one which I’ll carry for a lifetime, one which I’m exploring part time as a career too.

And within 2017, my readers will witness from my words; Kynren from a Show Team perspective.

A final note must go to this team;

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The Experience team of course, it’s been an absolute delight to work alongside so many warmhearted people who have showed kindness and compassion at every turn.

Thank you to you all.

To find out more information about the project or to book your tickets please click on this link to go to Eleven Arches website: http://www.elevenarches.org/

 

Family

Today I’d like to talk about family it has been mentioned many times over the last year what ‘Kynren’ means.

For those that don’t know, “The name ‘Kynren’, echoes the Anglo Saxon word ‘cynren’ meaning ‘generation, kindred, family’.”

And from this, the 1000 volunteers that represented the project in its debut first season instilled something that is so unique and quite special that you can clearly see it before you today.

You can see that Kynren is more than just the shows, more than the friendships, the camaraderie, the teamwork.

Like any family, we are proud of our own, we laugh, we joke, we encourage and we support and most of all when we are needed we are always there.

Today as the Eleven Arches Facebook page announced we lost one of our own, a fellow Archer, that sadly past away following a short illness.

I personally didn’t know him, although I know his daughters, I’m sure he was a lovely man.

Even as Kynren grows, my personal intention is to meet as many Archers as I can, to listen to the many stories of why they volunteered and what memories stand out for each of them.

To share in the laughter, to be that shoulder of support, to stand side by side as we as individuals come together in our growing Kynren family and produce what we all can’t wait to be another incredibly ‘epic’ Season 2.

So to all our absent friends who once stood with us, we shall always remember, you will all be forever in our hearts and your memories will drive us on as an unbreakable ‘Kynren family’ to keep improving, and keep delivering to ensure Kynren will be here for generations to come.

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2017 brings us Season 2, the new volunteers are waiting in anticipation to find out which teams they’ll be joining, and equally every Archer new and originals are counting down the days  for the training sessions to begin.

So come and meet our Kynren family, bring your smiles, your enthusiasm, and maybe even a rainjacket too.

Season 2 starts in July running for 17 shows, book now to avoid disappointment.

Click on Eleven Arches website for further details, http://www.elevenarches.org/

 

The Countdown Begins

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Happy New Year!!! 🎉

So with 2017 starts the countdown to Kynren Season 2, with the first show performed in only 172 days time, on Saturday 1st July.

The countdown has also begun for all new Archers too, as later this month they and myself included will find out which team they will be working with in preparation for the shows.

For me as you may have read I have yo-yo’d in the last few months on which team would be best for me to sign up too.

Having helped out at some of the recent mix and match sessions I decided that I would also go through the process that each new volunteer is going through and leave that decision in the hands of Eleven Arches to decide my fate.

I have every faith that whichever team they select will best benefit the overall project and that works very well with me.

Looking beyond Season 2 if I can allow myself to do just that, I would like if at all possible to work in each team year by year, to fully understand and appreciate what each team trains for, how each team works, and to witness Kynren in its entirety that only those individual teams get to see.

I think that would be such an honour to do and an incredible experience to record.

Outside of the project, some of the Archers came together on Friday 30th December for another meetup to wish each other well for the up and coming year ahead.

It was great to see so many familiar faces and also meet one or two new ones, first year Archers and some new recruits too.

The venue of The Pavilion and our hosts Chris and Jo-Anna Robinson has been like a Kynren Volunteers 3rd home.

The place was a hive of activity, many locals who popped in for a quiet drink commenting how nice it was to see a venue so busy.

It was quite appropriate that it was held here, as Chris and Jo-Anna now embark on new endeavours when they open up new premises early in the New Year.

They have actively played their part in our debut season as they hosted many of our after show parties helping each team of volunteers become more acquainted with each other.

Thank you both for your support and helping us create so many memories.

From a volunteers perspective it doesn’t really change, it never does.

You only have to mention the word ‘Kynren’ and there is an immediate excitement.

Each and every Archer, new or old, we all just waiting to get started, and collectively we’re looking to put on another season of spectacular shows for your viewing pleasure.

We can’t wait to meet you all.

To learn more about Kynren or purchase tickets for Season 2 please visit Eleven Arches website here: http://www.elevenarches.org/