Gains and Gives

A fantastic meeting with volunteer Joanne Lockwood on Friday lunchtime clarified some thinking about what Chrysalis gains from everyone who is part of our community and what Chrysalis gives to each and every person who we touch. This started off as an exercise to find the right words to describe people who come to the Chrysalis groups but soon spidered into a fantastic diagram about what people give and what people gain from being part of Chrysalis. I would love to hear what your gains and gives are, why not message us and tell us? or drop us a message on Facebook

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about words and values recently, in my interview with Naomi at 1 Community for Unity 101 ( I was asked about my typical day. Typical day I laugh! What on earth is a typical day? I answered with something about this blog and how I love knowing that you are reading it, that my words have value to you even though I don’t know who you are, but the question stayed with me. What is typical?

My typical day involves giving leadership, drive, ambition and focus to Chrysalis; through meeting with interesting people, talking on radio shows and delivering training; bringing together the volunteers - working with individuals to develop their practice and looking at the bigger picture with team meetings and development of policies and procedures; collecting and analysing data – yes even charities need their Key Performance Indicators; I give my ability to see patterns and pull conclusions from disparate data – creating and refining the greater skein of our path.

What do I gain from Chrysalis? Oh so much: a deeper understanding of what powers us, how everyone’s skills and abilities form part of that greater whole; a sense of purpose – knowing how Chrysalis plays a crucial part in so many people’s journeys of self-affirmation; ambition – to go further, work harder, improve and keep learning; contacts with so many interesting people, two years ago I wouldn’t have thought I would regularly meet with MPs, meet the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire and be talking to GenderGP about hosting their roadshow, let alone make some great friends across the country; and more than anything else I get a sense of purpose, of achievement, Chrysalis has grown so much over the last 18 months and we will keep on doing so, smartly, focused and with the sure knowledge that we are responding to the needs of our community in doing so.

My day is made by emails such as the one I got from Naomi this morning with some feedback from the show – thank you to the listener who took the time to email in to say that “to listen to felt they were being more accepted” That is the biggest gift of all, to know that Chrysalis is making a difference, making people’s lives better, making space safe for everyone, saying it loud and proud that “it’s OK to be you”.

What’s on this week? Another busy one, with interviews soon for our new Meeting Centre and Volunteer Coordinator; more supervision and work on Bournemouth, watch this space for more information about our launch event on the 6th September; a meeting with Sophie Cook – see what I mean about getting to know the great and the good?; then it’s the end of the week and time to write up the monthly report for the board before closing with a short training session at Breast Cancer Haven a national charity which gives vital one to one physical, emotional and practical support and advice to anyone affected by breast cancer. Marian from Haven recently attended our training and is now visiting the Chrysalis T&Q groups delivering workshops. It’s a great way to look out for each other as charities – if you have a message you would like to share with the Chrysalis groups and would like some training in return then drop us a line

I was listening to something on the radio the other day about newspaper columnists, they were talking about their natural 500 word limit. I think I have a natural 750 word limit, as I draw this weeks blog to a close and bid you a fond adieu as I am on annual leave for the next two weeks (camping at a music festival in Germany) and so I won’t be back until the 19th August.