The Adventure Library by Nick Ball

Nick and his dog, Roger

Apparently it’s spring time. Lots of the plants in my garden seem to have got the message but the weather certainly hasn’t. Not the worst timing for me as I’ve spent the past two weeks in bed following surgery for cancer treatment. Some of that time I’ve spent working away in the back ground as a volunteer for Circus Head. I am responsible for the sudden influx of social media posts and hopefully the coordinator for some exciting new projects.

So why do I do it? As a fellow paramedic, I’ve known Rob for sometime now in a working capacity. Not enough to say I really know him but enough to say hello in passing. One day he invited me for a coffee and a chat about what he was trying to achieve with the community interest company. Anyone who knows me is well aware that I can’t turn down good coffee. So over I trundled one Friday for a coffee and a chat. That in turn led to the following two Fridays and the more I heard the more I felt that this project was so important to our line of work. I love the idea of having somewhere that can facilitate someone’s passion and use it to better the health and wellbeing of others, it’s why I’m a paramedic, Circus Head embodies that spirit and that selfless want to help and support. Now, latte art is not my thing and though I’m sure at some point I’ll be forced to give it a go I’ll leave Rob to making the coffee for now. For me, Circus Head is a space for peers to learn, laugh, talk and even cry if needed. It’s an olive branch of counsellors and peer led cruises on the Norfolk Broads through the Ithaca Project. It’s a CPD opportunity for those who want it through assisting or teaching on the first aid courses. It’s a sanctuary for people to come and spend time doing something completely different to their day job or simply socialising through coffee. The thing that really drew me in is that it’s a blank page for so many other opportunities and paths to wellbeing.

The first I’m looking to set up is the adventure library. This will be based at the Puppet theatre and hopefully stocked with books that inspire time in nature or paths to better wellbeing. The idea being you can pop in for a coffee, have a read and find inspiration. To celebrate this I’ve donated 10 copies of the book that has helped me change my mindset most, The Doorstep Mile by Alistair Humphrys.

This book made me challenge my negative responses to my ambitions, “I can’t” became “I’m choosing not to” for example. I’d really like to give these 10 copies to people who it may help as well. (There’s actually 11 but 1 will stay in the library when it’s in place. The first 10 responses to the Facebook or Instagram post about this blog with an adventure you’ve always dreamed of but never dared to undertake (no matter how small) will get a copy.

The power of giving back is something at the heart of Circus Head and this is hopefully my first of many contributions to this. If you’ve got an idea of something you could run under the Circus Head banner for the benefit our ambulance staff then why not get in touch. We will endeavour to make it happen.

By Nick Ball

Paramedic and Projects Co-ordinator