Menu

Thoughts from category: learning

homeward bound...

Foundation_blog_emma

How to try and sum up 14 pretty incredible days in a single blog post...

I've met over 50 rather special individuals who have benefited directly from our innocent Foundation

DSC_0499

Drunk about 20 cups of hot milk, straight from the yard

DSC_0143

Been given one jack fruit

DSC_0109

Had 2 delicious coconuts from the tree

DSC_0353

Been lucky enough to sit in on 3 of the monthly meetings run at local village level by disabled people for disabled people, where the big decisions get made.

DSC_0289

And almost been launched through the roof of 1 Indian bus (note to self: never, ever sit on the back row).

Trying to give a picture of all the people that I've met is a lot more difficult. I've been totally blown away by the sheer determination to drive change that I have witnessed this past fortnight- but one of the most striking examples I've seen is a man I met called Poundurai.

DSC_0496

ADD met Poundurai at a Federation meeting for disabled people that they attended about 5 years ago. He wasn't in a leadership role at the time, but they noticed his potential and began working with him more closely over the years to support the work that he was doing.

5 years on, and he now represents over 2300 disabled people in a block of over 40 villages in his area. He's the elected President of the Disability Development Trust, a co-ordinator of the governement disability programme, and Leader of the National Federation for the Blind, fighting tirelessly to make sure that disabled people get a fair deal. He and his team have helped more disabled people get bank loans than any other group in the area, they've taught parents of severely disabled children how to teach their children to wash and dress, and they've ensured that when things aren't right, they're addressed.

When I was there, we spoke to a lady whose postman had been skimming 500 rupees for himself off the government benefits that he was supposed to be delivering her in full each month. Apparently this is rather common.

From the look on Poundurai's face, I suspect the postman might think twice about it next time.

www.add.org.uk

when you're writing a book...

We have a new book coming out soon. It will be introduced properly on this blog and elsewhere shortly, but before it gets to the shops, we just wanted to share a modern day parable.

If you're ever writing a book, and the deadline is looming, and your publisher is rightly asking you when it all might be ready, and the printers are getting impatient, and the boss is getting nervous, and you're wondering if you really have enough time to get everything done, don't fret. Just look at this photo and you will realise that whatever hurdles you must hurdle, whatever mountains you must climb, you can succeed. It will happen if you summon the positive mental strength. Pull the sledge.

IMG_1443

a little film about little films

Mm_logo_sml

On a very rainy Saturday four weeks ago, we held a little workshop here at Fruit Towers to launch our mini movies competition. Ben Wheatley- film director, very funny chap, and the maker of our superhero ad- spent the day with us, talking about his own experience, sharing top tips, and helping our film makers' make their own little mini movies on the day.

This is our little video about the day- thanks to Mark and Dan for all the time they put into making this for us:

To find out how you could get your work on TV, and win £5000, take a peak here here.

Friday night book clubbing...

Nick Cave, Phillip Pullman, Margaret Atwood, and Graham Norton.

Under the shadow of Nelson's Column.

Reading.

This, dear readers, is no fiction, but could instead become your Friday night if you are very lucky, because we have some rather special tickets to give away.

10,000 people will gather in Trafalgar square this Friday (the 4th) to be treated to a wide range of performances and readings from some of the most celebrated artists of stage, screen and theatre. And because here at Fruit Towers we like nothing more than to squirrel away with a good book, we decided we'd like to get involved and support this event.

Friday night kick starts 'World Book Night', a nationwide initiative to celebrate and encourage reading- as part of this, 1 million books will be given out the day after by 20,000 passionate readers who have volunteered to get involved. One of these is our lovely Katie here at innocent, pictured here with her favourite read.

P1040050

So if you know your Forster from your Fabric and your Tolstoy from your Turnmills, and would love nothing more than to spend your Friday evening raving about reading, we might just be able to make it happen for you. We have 20 sets of tickets to give away- to be in with the chance to get your hands on a set, just take a peak here.

a special film makers' workshop

Saturday 19th Feb, 2011.

For many, this will go down as the day when it rained a lot, or as the weekend where they had a particularly tasty croissant for breakfast.

But for me, Sat 19th Feb will be marked as my favourite day at work. Ever.

A few weeks ago, we blogged a post inviting people to come along to a special film makers' workshop here at Fruit Towers. 60 soaked, but surprisingly chirpy, budding film makers came through the doors of the Towers on Sat for a very special workshop with Ben Wheatley - film director, funny man, and chap who made our advert.

DSC_0574

With beanbags and biscuits, and a Wizard of Oz style presentation from up on the balcony, Ben shared some of his top tips for film making, ranging from how to use storyboards effectively to the importance of time management in directing.

We'll let you into a secret...the number 1 rule of film directing?

Never, ever sit down.

DSC_0671

In the afternoon, our budding film makers were set loose to create their own 30 second mini movie superhero movie, armed with Ben's tips and a no expenses spared* film makers' kit.

DSC_0578
*this may not be strictly true

They looked up for the challenge, so we threw in additional angle of artistic opportunity/anguish and gave them each a genre or theme for their mini movie, ranging from slasher horror to circus chic.

They spent a bit of time brainstorming...

DSC_0585

...and then the magic started to really happen as the gaffa tape came out, the fishwire was attached, and a selection of Fruit Towers' finest random props were put to excellent use.

DSC_0613

The result? 9 truely excellent films watched with lashings of popcorn that had us in stitches.

DSC_0641

Check out some of the results, and find out how you can get involved in our mini movies competition here.

Thanks so much to those of you who came down for the day. We'll be smiling about it for a while to come.