Happy 2nd birthday – week 104 🥳🎂

Thank you to everyone who supported me from the beginning, who have joined me along the way, who have let me in to discuss what we might be able to do, who have trusted me to put a bow in their hands, helped them face change to stay shooting ……… the list of what I get to do is wide and varied and I love all of it, it’s hard work being the one in charge of my little business all alone, whilst working, being a parent to amazing young people, trying to shoot my own bow and also volunteering in non archery ways.

So, my time – it’s free always, I remain committed to not for profit, any money that comes in covers costs of storage and petrol for running around, anything left goes into delivering for a group, a project – whatever.

The people who work with me do a combination of paid and unpaid time, anything paid is predominantly paid directly to them, I make all the arrangements but it’s only rare that something comes to me to be passed on. In return for the paid work they do, almost all of the coaches then donate varing amounts of free time to Integr8archery CIC, no pressure from me about what or when but most give valuable time for which I am grateful. ☺️

I made the decision at the end of 2023 that I would reduce how many hours I was giving, 25-30 hours a week is a lot and there were a number of health issues happening with both myself and both of the children under the hospital. 2024 saw other issues in the family with health that added to this. Thank you from all of us to those of you who have supported us through all of that. Lots of positive news amongst all of that, still things going on but your support has meant so very much 🥰🤗

I don’t think it’s really going to be a surprise for me to say, not much changed, because I had announced a change in my time commitments it meant when I needed to post that there was going to be any delays (and I do always post on social media what’s happening and how long you might wait – usually a couple of days when I am on my working weekend), I can do it without feeling stress or guilt. Not everyone listens, some people push and can be rude 🤷‍♀️ I will not apologise for having a life! I nearly lost it 110 weeks ago!

So time –

2023/2024 for Integr8archery CIC I have given 987 hours of my time to this little provider of flying arrows 🥰

Total number of hours to other volunteering, including Archery GB, other sports related events, working with other CIC’s or groups focusing on the same goals as mine accessibility and inclusion – 226 hours 🥳

Total of volunteer hours for the year = 1213 hours – so that 112.5 hours less than my first year so my reduction on time to relax? Turned out to be a couple of hours a week 😂🫣

How many people have I had the pleasure to help put bows in their hands? I love these numbers – they are what keep me going on the hard days when I am wondering what I am doing or why I am doing it! I deliver or take part in as much as I can, the biggest exception is schools as I have coaches in a variety of places and I cannot be everywhere all of the time, I try to pop in occasionally and I am the project manager and the contact for all of them, meetings are less fun that delivering but anyone who has sat in a meeting with me knows that I am no less enthusiastic in those meetings than I am on the ranges 😂

Education852 individuals have picked up a bow, some once, many for numerous weeks.

Community Groups

Broken down a little further to –

Youth305 which includes young carers, LGBTQIA+, Foster families, Community support and inclusion groups

Rimaya related sessions 192 individuals including the Northamptonshire Sport Together Fund supported sessions with Wellingborough Muslim Community

Seniors sessions86 individuals over the age of 68 years, awesome to see them smile in a new activity

Business Events138

Disability sessions89

Refuge confidence building sessions – 52

College sessions – 87

University Sessions72

A whopping total of 1873 individuals who have stood with a bow in their hands, some have had a taster, some shooting as part of ongoing groups, some moving onto local clubs, all enjoying whatever we have done and I continue to be inspired by the smiles I see. I love the moments when I see someone relax and understand what I tried to explain, that this sport that I love accepts everyone, it is adaptable and accessible and makes no judgement on anyone.

So the conferences – 6, meetings – 51, webinars – 23, training sessions – 12, the many catch ups over a coffee, all worth it even when I am shattered – 1.89 people have held a bow for every hour of time I have given to Integr8archery CIC!

So if we revisit the first anniversary blog and combine the first two years of Integr8archery CIC I am incredibly proud and humbled at what’s been achieved, thank you for joining me on this rollercoaster – why do I do it? If these blogs don’t answer that but especially the quarterly and annual numbers round ups, don’t explain it, then it’s surely the many, many smiles 😎

I am off for that coffee and a treat to celebrate, before a meeting this evening brings us all back firmly with our feet on the ground ☺️