It’s time to announce…. White Water Writers!
So we’ve had a bit of good news recently. Many of you are aware I’ve been going on about the TooManyCooks Project since 2009. It’s been a joyous thing to be involved in and one of the things we’ve been pushing hard at is to increase the independence of the process. There are only so many days in the year and it’s heartbreaking to turn schools and groups away because you’ve run out of holiday days and because all the schools seem to want the same two weeks in June.
So last year we piloted running camps using not me, but undergraduate volunteers from our local Psychology Department. I spent much of those two weeks even more nervous than normal, but I was very proud of both our volunteers and the kids. They produced two wonderful books with only the lightest of touches from me.
This approach has brought a bit of backing. The Research and Enterprise section of Royal Holloway have been convinced, and now really believe in the Project – they have made available £20,000 in seed funding to pay for a part-time admin person for six months to run the logistical end of the project: coordinating volunteers, working with schools, keeping the accounts straight and putting training in the diary (I suspect I’ll be handling the lion’s share of the training).
We’re branding this separately – TooManyCooks will still exist as the creative sandbox where we can do experiments, side projects, and push boundaries. But White Water Writers is now the flagship. We wanted a name that gave images of working together, of excitement, and of really committing to a goal.
That six months should be enough to let White Water Writers work with enough schools to make the project a truly self sustaining social enterprise, and that’s really going to have ticked off one of my life goals. I’m going to miss running the camps in person, but I get so much from knowing we’ll reach so many more people.
Today, our job advert went live (internally to Royal Holloway people first) I’m looking forward to telling you all about the results. And if you are a teacher reading this – please get in touch!