Friday, 10 February 2012

New Faces... New Spaces...

Hello all,

I'm Dominic, and as RECLAIM's resident intern I've been tasked with updating you on the recent goings-on here in the office, as well as what I've been doing in the four-or-so weeks I've been here.

You might have noticed I didn't say I'm the latest member of the RECLAIM staff; since I've been here we've already taken on a development manager (the wonderful Ruth Paterson). We've also taken giant strides in finishing Re:ad, our brilliant new library space - yesterday's hectic dash to Ikea was followed by much grumbling and moaning at the cryptographic instructions for our new shelves.

I've had a bit of good news myself; I've had my first funding bid accepted! While it's 'only' for around £1,800, it will cover the costs of a community consultation for a potential RECLAIM Project in Longsight. We're looking to launch the scheme at around the time of the Longsight Festival in June, so if you're free around that time, we'll doubtless need some volunteers handing out questionnaires, as well as teenagers willing to sit on the panel to decide who we're helping, where, and why. 

I've also had a hand in two other funding applications that have been sent off in the last fortnight, each for well over £100,000. Given my 100% record so far though, I'm quietly optimistic.

It's not all number-crunching and deadlines, though; RECLAIM has also started to provide a refuge for all our friends, new and old, on a Friday lunchtime, which we're ingeniously calling Re:fuel. So, if you're feeling peckish or just want to share your lunch with the lovely people at RECLAIM, make sure you pay us a visit.

I've also been lucky enough to have been sent, alongside a few of my colleagues, to a night at the theatre. We saw J. B. Priestly's An Inspector Calls, variously described by the press as "thrilling", "magisterial", "wildly imaginative" and "spine-tinglingly good", and it didn't disappoint. At times explosive, at others eerily, painfully quiet, it was certainly worth a watch - the stage direction alone was probably worth the asking price (I'd never seen a fireworks show combined with a house demolition before...).

I was also asked to star in a trailer advertising RECLAIM to new audiences! The role was a challenging one to interpret - "Pedestrian Number 4". How could I possibly portray the subtleties and intricacies of this man? How could I ensure that it was a performance for the ages? Who would be handing me my award at the BAFTAs this year?

All these questions and more were answered in a phone call from the editor, telling me I had been cut from the film altogether. Such is life.

Since I've been here, I've met dozens and dozens of lovely new people, from the helpful and dedicated staff, to the legions of eager volunteers all hoping to provide something brilliant for the young people of Manchester in any way they can; ranging from super-high-tech library categorisation software from University of Manchester IT wizard Sinead Renold, to a wondrous cheesecake kindly baked for Re:fuel by mega-talented artist Ebony Montague.

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