The next TABS Volunteer team had been selected!

This year we received 25 excellent applications for the next volunteer trip in Feb 2011. It was very hard to shortlist these down, but after a few hours of healthy debate we were able to invite 18 potential volunteers to a selection weekend in London.

Most travelled up the night before from all over the country and we were made very wel- come at Chapter One’s Waterloo hostel where we spent the Friday night. The group bonded immedi- ately, and after some getting to know you games we took a walk along the South Bank to see the sites. For some of the applicants it was the first time they had been to London, and at TABS we always feel immensely privileged to share new experiences like this with other people.

We were up early on the Saturday morning and work began immediately. We put the applicants through their paces, with listening exercises, communication games, team building tasks and group bonding exercises.

We then broke for lunch and the applicants pre- pared themselves for their individual interviews with the TABS trustees and team leaders.

Nervous applicants

They were clearly very nervous and had worked so hard in the morning, but they didn’t let the pressure get to them. We had 5 interviewing pairs and one by the applica- tions were called in. All weekend it was becoming apparent that we had a very special group of peo- ple with us, and it was going to be extremely difficult to select for the 10 places, and the interviews were no exception to this. To all the applicants credit we were totally blown away with their honesty, passion and drive to become a TABS volunteer and what it would mean for them in their own lives, but also what they could bring to the team and the trip itself.

The applicants had all experienced disadvantage and difficul- ties in their lives, but are determined to use this in a positive way. They were all re- markable people and we wish we could have offered them all a place. However we only had 10 slots and we spent the next 3 hours selecting the candidates!

We now have a team of 10 volunteers and 6 team leaders.

We feel we have a fantastic team that will get so much out of the experience and help TABS move forward with our Vision for Kiandatu in Thika, Kenya.

The real work for the volunteers begins now! They have to get a lot organized and ready before February 2011, and we can’t wait.