“Thousand Hours is an opportunity to bring the community of Ashford together, united by the belief that acts of kindness can make a big difference. We want people to step out into their neighbourhoods, either collectively or individually, to influence where they live in a positive way. Whether it be through baking a cake, picking up litter or doing some DIY, these things can have a huge impact on people and the places where they live. We can’t always do everything, but everyone can do something!”
~Jon Davies (Thousand Hours Coordinator)
Thousand Hours began in Ashford in October 2016 when we decided to pledge a thousand hours of our time to bringing life to Ashford. Whether through personal volunteering in our own neighbourhoods- picking up litter, baking cakes for neighbours, etc. or collectively by putting on community events throughout the month, we wanted to make an impact on the town that we love by spreading acts of kindness, and bringing life in any way that we could.
Last year, we managed to hit 1856 hours! It was a fantastic month building relationships and bringing life to the neighbourhoods around us, and we loved every minute!
This year, Thousand Hours will be bigger and better as we continue to love and look after our community by bringing a kindness revolution to our town. We are working with schools and businesses around Ashford as well as impacting the small communities in our own areas and there are plenty of ways for you to get involved!
We are aiming to hit five thousand hours within the month of October and we want your help!
We have so many organised projects that you can get involved in, head to our events calendar for details and sign up! But there are also ways that you can get involved by pledging individual hours! Have a look at the personal volunteering page for ideas of things that you can do around your own neighbourhoods and work places. Just remember to log your hours for any personal volunteering here.
We’d love you to share your stories and pictures with us. Tag us in on social media and make sure you use the hashtag: #ThousandHours17 OR email your pictures and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Who is behind Thousand Hours?"
Thousand Hours was started by Ashford Vineyard- a Community Church, dedicated to building community, and bringing life to Ashford. Although we’re a church, you don’t have to believe to belong, everyone is welcome and everyone gets to play. Ashford Vineyard runs a number of fun activity groups and care giving services all throughout the year outside of Thousand Hours, so there’s plenty to get involved in after October- we’d love to see you around when Thousand Hours has ended!
"I'm not from Ashford Vineyard, can I still help?"
You absolutely can still help even if you’ve never heard of Ashford Vineyard! The more the merrier. If you’re local to Ashford and want to be involved in any way, then we would love to have you. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, or sign up to one of the events, whether as a guest or to volunteer. We look forward to meeting you.
"I can't commit to a project, can I still help?"
If you can’t commit to specific dates for specific projects, you can definitely still get involved! There are two ways you can help: ‘Personal Volunteering’ in your own neighbourhoods, and ‘Lend Your Skills’. We have lots of ideas of how you can volunteer in your own neighbourhoods and at your workplace, head to the personal volunteering page for more information. (Don’t forget to log your hours afterwards!). If you have skills to offer, just fill in the quick form at ‘Lend Your Skills’ letting us know the kinds of things you love and are good at and we will get in touch if anything comes up where we might need some extra help!
"How do I log my hours?"
If you have been volunteering around your neighbourhood to contribute to Thousand Hours, you can log your hours very easily! Just head to the ‘Log Your Hours’ page and fill in the quick form telling us a bit about what you did, and how many hours you contributed. If you did something with a friend/family member/colleague make sure they fill one out too! (Or even be kind and do theirs for them.)
"What happens after October?"
Thousand Hours was designed as a way of impacting our town, together, by committing to take time out of our busy schedules, look around to see the need and do something about it. But it was never designed to be a one off thing. We hope that Thousand Hours encourages you to get into the habit of contributing little acts of kindness throughout the year too. We have ways to get involved and plugged-in to community through organised groups and compassion projects during the year, but we also want this kindness revolution to translate into your day-to-day lives by seeing what’s around you and making a difference in your own neighbourhoods.
"I have an idea..."
If you have an idea of something that we can do during Thousand Hours (whether you know of a building/business/organisation who needs a helping hand, or an area of Ashford that needs a big clean up, etc.) We’d love to hear it! If we can help, we will.
"I have a great story about Thousand Hours!"
If you have a story about what you’ve been up to during Thousand Hours, we’d love to hear it! Whether you have volunteered, or someone has impacted your life, please send us your stories, including photos (if you have them)- hearing and sharing stories are an important part of building community and encouraging each other. We really value stories in a big way, and think that everyone has a story to share, we want to hear yours. (Please let us know when you email us, if you would NOT like us to share you stories or photos via social media. Even if you want to keep the story private, we still want to hear it.)
"I know someone..."
“I know someone who needs a helping hand….”- If you, or someone you know, needs a helping hand in any way, we’ll be gathering people to go out and do jobs throughout the month of October. Whether it’s help clearing a garden, plumbing, DIY, or even emergency meals, if we can help, we will! Get in touch with details of who, where, and what is needed, and we will do our best to fill the need. (Please be sure to get the person’s permission before sending us personal details though!)
"I'm not from Ashford..."
“I’m not from Ashford but I love what you’re doing and want to know if we can do something similar!”- If you’re not from Ashford and think Thousand Hours is something you’d like to do in your own town, we’d love to help you get started and talk to you about how to take Thousand Hours to your community. Get in touch!
"I have another question that you haven't covered"
We’ve tried to cover as many of your questions as possible before you’ve even had to ask them, but we may have missed one! If you have any other questions about Thousand Hours we’d be so happy to answer them! Drop us an email and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.