Q is for… Quidditch

…but, I’m so tired you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out more. 
Sorry. 

Here is the delayed post:

In Harry Potter’s wizarding world Quidditch is a sport played on broomsticks.
It consists of teams of seven people: a Keeper, who tries to prevent a ball called the Quaffle entering the three hoops their end of the pitch, three Chasers who aim to get the Quaffle past the opposing Keeper, two beaters who carry bats to whack a ball called the Bludger with the aim of unseating opponents (or protecting their own), and a Seeker who tries to catch the fastest of the three balls, the Golden Snitch. 
All in all it sounds like a fairly dangerous game, and the injuries Harry alone gets in the books shows it isn’t for the faint hearted. 
Like Muggle football, bad feeling can spread between supporters of teams too. Hermione, as always, is accurate in her assessment in the scene below. (Image via Google Books). 
  
Violence among sports fans or teams is not something that should be condoned, competition is part of life and to be expected, but shaking hands and congratulating the winners at the end of a game should become the norm. 
Of course Muggles have adopted Quidditch and, because of our lack of magic, now run around with broomsticks between their legs, use softballs instead of bludgers and the snitch is a person with a tennis ball dangling behind them waiting to be grabbed. 
I’ve only managed to catch a brief snippet of a game at LeakyCon but I don’t think this is a game that can be taken all that seriously in terms of unfriendly competition. 
Have you been to a Muggle Quidditch game, how was the interaction on and off the pitch?
Have you ever avoided attending Muggle sports because of fear of violence? 

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World Book Night and Accio Books

Phoenix Rising was selected as an Institutional World Book Night giver and whilst we weren’t able to distribute our books on the actual night plans are afoot to set them free in Bournemouth and Poole soon.

Here are the World Book Night Books after Rhianna, Jay and I had finished writing in them all.

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And here are Rhianna and Jay hard at work.

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Alongside this we are also taking part in the HPA’s ‘Accio Books’ book drive. Our target is to collect at least 300 books by the end of May – any genre, for any age. The plan is to redistribute them to local hospital patient libraries, schools etc.

The other day Rhianna, Orianne and I painted some boxes ready for collecting books and we already have donations from Stacey, Catherine and Emma.

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We are still finalising collection points but if you have any books cluttering up your house that you’d like to give us, or if you’d be willing to host a box in your workplace please contact us using the form below.

Phoenix Rising visits Hope for Food’s soup kitchen

In the course of my profession I have visited several halfway houses, generally for recovering addicts or those recently released from prison.  I’m not easily intimidated, but I found the atmosphere was frequently ever so slightly tense.  Prior to my visit to Hope for Food I had a vague preconceived notion of what the soup kitchen would be like.  I imagined the same tense undertones.  Plastic chairs lined up at chipped formica tables.  Patrons sitting several chairs apart from each other and eating in perhaps slightly territorial silence.  The reality could not have been more different.

For one thing, Hope for Food is outdoors in a churchyard.  The Founder, Claire Matthews, has been unable to find any venue willing to allow the homeless inside.  This may be quite pleasant on a balmy summer’s evening, but I try to imagine queueing for and eating my dinner outside in pouring rain in the middle of winter.  There is no shelter from the wind or rain in the churchyard.  Claire is hoping to be able to buy gazebos for the winter, but it’s still a far cry from the cosy lounge most of us can eat in.

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I arrive before 6.30 and find a queue has already formed.  Having come straight from work, I’m dressed in a suit and holding a handbag and iPad of notes to discuss with Claire, yet I feel completely safe & comfortable.  There is no underlying tension: the atmosphere is tranquil and friendly.  Even the two or three dogs sitting dotted around the yard wait quietly without growling or barking at each other.  I am obviously not a volunteer yet I am treated to smiles and nodded greetings.  Two people wish me a pleasant evening.

On this occasion Claire is caught in roadworks & is 10 minutes late.  The patrons queue patiently, exchanging smiles and greetings as more visitors arrive.  There is no disruption, no British shuffling of feet or tutting at the delay; just touching faith that Claire at least, will not forget them.

A folding table is set up and the queue filters past collecting a foil container of stew and dumplings (a firm favourite), a packet of crisps, a sandwich, and a styrofoam cup of homemade fruit crumble.  Diners sit on the floor or garden wall to chat & eat.  One and all express their gratitude to Claire, and as darkness falls, collect their meagre belongings and depart.312913_410574555704808_829819424_n
Hope for Food is clearly providing a vital lifeline for a huge number of people, and YOU can help their invaluable work continue:
  • Donate unwanted clothing/blankets
  • Donate groceries (food/toiletries/laundry products/etc)
  • Make a financial contribution
If you wish to donate items, please use the contact form below and we will be in touch to make arrangements.  If you wish to make a financial contribution, please use the secure PayPal donate button.

PayPal Donate Button

Supporting Hope for Food

Hope for Food was born due to a chance conversation between the founder, Claire Matthews, and a friend.  Claire was horrified by her friend’s admission that she was being forced to chose between heating her home & feeding her children.  Claire did some research and began to realise quite how many people in the area were struggling.150991_377624632333134_346527939_n

Claire set up Hope for Food and began collecting donations and trying to organise a location to hold a soup kitchen.  On the first night Claire fed one homeless person.  On the second she fed seven.  By the third night twenty people were queuing for food.  6 months later, Claire now feeds over 80 people.

Hope for Food has become much more than a soup kitchen.  In addition to feeding more than 80 people 3 times a week, Hope for Food provides groceries for several struggling families, collects donated clothing & blankets and distributes them, has helped 4 homeless people find & furnish new homes, and provides endless support and advice.

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Becoming a registered charity would make an enormous difference to Hope for Food: they’d be able to use justgiving sites for fundraising, gain more support from donors and companies, and, crucially, pay no more than 20% of normal business rates on occupied buildings.  Claire dreams of having premises where her patrons could sit down indoors to eat their dinner (currently they eat from foil containers, outdoors in a church yard), with a small shop selling donated items to fund food purchases.  In order to achieve registered charity status, Hope for Food needs to raise and bank £5000, which can then be spent on food and premises.

Phoenix Rising will be supporting Hope for Food, and YOU can help us!

  • Donate unwanted clothing/blankets
  • Donate groceries (food/toiletries/laundry products/etc)
  • Make a financial contribution
If you wish to donate items, please use the contact form below and we will be in touch to make arrangements.  If you wish to make a financial contribution, please use the secure PayPal donate button.

PayPal Donate Button

 

The Birth of Phoenix Rising

A phoenix is a mythical bird that is cyclically reborn from its own ashes. Phoenix Rising was reborn this summer from the ashes of LeakyCon London. Here’s what happened.

I was lucky enough to get a ticket to attend the first UK held LeakyCon this summer, but because the tickets sold out so quickly I ended up having to go alone. I needn’t have worried, it really did feel like going home. To be surrounded by people who seem to understand or at least accept you was magical. I went as a fan of Harry Potter, delved further into the fandom before I went, sang along with Team Starkid and came away a fan of Wizard Rock. But the one thing I didn’t expect at all was the influence of the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA).

In our welcome bag was the Dumbledore postcard below highlighting the sessions the HPA would be running. I went to the second one “Make it IRL” (IRL standing for In real life). Matt Maggicomo (AKA The Whomping Willows) and Lauren Bird from the HPA introduced the aims of the HPA and the concept of the chapter programme. We were then split into groups based on a range of different fandoms and asked to brainstorm ideas to link our fandom to a project or idea that we could implement IRL in our community. Our Supernatural group came up with the suggestion of a Big Sister programme in schools based on the importance of family in Supernatural.

Dumbledore HPA sched

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a picture of me with a group of LeakyCon goers, including the lovely Jo, and Robbie Jarvis (Young James Potter), Evanna Lynch (only Luna Lovegood of course) and Scarlett Byrne (Pansy Parkinson). Evanna is wearing a HPA T-shirt. It’s very inspiring to see all of the people still involved with the Harry Potter fandom so passionate about social justice and equality.

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Before we arrived at LeakyCon we’d also been asked to bring a copy of a book for the Apparating Library. We would hand over our annotated book early in the Con, receive a receipt and swap it for another book at the end. I loved this idea of sharing one of your favourite books with another person.

App Lib

There were ribbons to collect to attach to your badge and the HPA one is below. The idea of being a Wizard Activist appealed. Doing good while having fun. And of course I got a personal message from Harry and the Potters to raise my voice.

Wizard ActivistHaPauto

When it was time to leave I entered into a period of Post Leaky Depression (a phenomenon we had been warned about). The phoenix of LeakyCon had come to the end of its lifecycle and turned to ash.

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I had collected this HPA Chapters leaflet and kept looking at it, there was buzz in the facebook groups about starting UK Chapters and so I thought, why not. Asking a friend (Jay) who hadn’t managed to get a ticket and finding out if there were any people in the LeakyCon groups in my area who were interested meant we had enough to form a group. I sent in our ‘start a chapter’ form and the flames that were in the ashes ignited. As an Occupational Therapist I already have an affinity with the Phoenix because it is the symbol of my professional body and ‘rising from the ashes’ represents the idea of recovery.

Phoenix Rising was born.

The Phoenix Patronus from my Canvas Warriors shoes.

The Phoenix Patronus from my Canvas Warriors shoes.

This T-shirt and this represents the HPA perfectly – using narrative to create magic in the muggle world.

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Tomorrow we have our first interest meeting. I’ll probably wear this T-shirt again so that people can find us. We are meeting upstairs in The Moon in the Square in Bournemouth at 3pm until 5pm. Hope to see some of you there. Please join the Facebook event so we get an idea about how many people are coming.

On the blog tomorrow look out for Jay’s post on Hope for Food – supporting this local soup kitchen is going to be one of our first projects and we’d love your help.

Welcome to Phoenix Rising

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This is the website for Phoenix Rising, which is the Bournemouth and Poole Community Chapter of The Harry Potter Alliance. You can find our chapter listed on their website. The Harry Potter Alliance is like a Dumbledore’s Army (or Order of the Phoenix) for the real world and we are recruiting now. You can find out more about the HPA’s current and past campaigns here. As well as supporting the HPA’s campaigns we are planning on running our own which will benefit our local community. So if you are a fan of Harry Potter, nerdfighteria or other fandoms and you’d like to be involved in decreasing “worldsuck” and working towards social justice and equality in the Bournemouth and Poole area then get in touch using the contact form below.

On Sunday 6th October 2013 we will be holding an interest meeting between 3pm-5pm (The Moon in the Square Pub – Bournemouth).

Please check out our Mission Statement and Meet the Team and subscribe using the link on the right to find out more about our first campaign. You can also find link to our Facebook Page, Twitter and Tumblr to the right or above.