Nearly four hundred and seventeen days. Or just over thirteen months if you work it out. But the project Causeway Coast Vineyard Church is undertaking means to squash thirteen months-worth of volunteer hours into the space of just one month with the sole aim of transforming the community around us.
October 2015 was the first launch of the project and throughout the week many schools, businesses, areas and agencies received fresh coats of paint, new murals, weeded gardens and litter picked parks. Since then many people have been calling to thank them and ask when they were intending to do it again.
So they decided to say yes but this year they want to do it again but make it bigger. Instead of serving for a week they want to serve for a whole month and they intend to do that through undertaking 50 different projects throughout the community.
Neil Young, Associate Pastor at Causeway Coast Vineyard says ‘I recognise that we can’t do 10,000 hours on our own, but I’m excited about the fact that as we move out, people are going to join us. That’s what rewriting the story of our city looks like. We have the opportunity and the skills to change the world around us. So that’s what we want to do.’
July 2016 is going to see a wave of willing volunteers released with all manner of paint brushes, litter pickers and strimmers in hand to help both institutions and individuals. With the enthusiastic support of Causeway Coast and Glens council they are planning to donate a total of 10,000 volunteer hours to make a practical difference to our local areas.
During the month they will partner with several institutions to make a difference in the community. The projects will involve nurseries, primary schools, secondary schools, nursing homes, businesses and charities and will reach into Garvagh, Kilrea, Coleraine, Portrush, Portstewart, Ballymoney and as far as Ballymena.
Alongside the larger projects the hope is that people will show up in streets across the area to make a difference where they live. They are planning all sorts of litter-picking, grass cutting and painting jobs as well as doing giveaways throughout the course of the week. It’s an invite for everyone to love our neighbourhoods and show up to help where we can.
‘We are dreaming big things for our communities during this month. But more than the practical work involved, it’s about all of us coming together to contribute to something bigger than ourselves, no matter what our individual backgrounds may be. This is about stepping out to change what we see around us, about getting stuck in and making a difference as well as having a bit of fun in the process,’ says Neil.
Do you have some specific skills that could help with some of these projects? Causeway Coast Vineyard would love to have you involved. They are encouraging you to write a new story for our community. If you would like to offer your time, just head to the Causeway Coast Vineyard website and you can sign up to any of the projects listed. It doesn’t matter if you only have a few hours to spare or a few days, you can be a part of transforming your community! www.causewaycoastvineyard.com/10000