As we start Volunteer’s Week 2017 we’d like to say a ginormous ‘thank you’ to our Greater Manchester volunteers! You’ve done so much to help families going through hard times. A volunteer named Rebecca shares her story with us below.
“I’ve had some really great and varied experiences with the families I’ve been involved with so far”, says Rebecca. “Sometimes it’s the parents or family who need support and sometimes it’s the child who’s a little lost in the world – not wanting to go to school or something. It’s a great opportunity to build into people’s lives. To support them, to turn up and show them that someone cares for them in a practical and tangible way.
“I worked with one girl who was on the edge of society. She didn’t live with her biological parents and didn’t fit into mainstream school. It felt like she was teetering on the edge of falling between the cracks of life. It was great to mentor her and take her places she wouldn’t get to go to otherwise.
“A child I’m supporting now refuses to go to school. I’m supporting the child but it feels like I’m supporting the mum too. The child spends 30 minutes getting ready and Mum sits and chats to me while I wait. She loves someone to chat to and get some support and encouragement from because parents feel they’re the only one in the whole world facing these difficult situations and they get disheartened.
“I’m supporting a whole family as well, a mum with 3 kids. Mum has mobility issues so I take them all out together. She needs an extra set of hands; she’s out numbered with all the kids. We do simple things like go to the park. It gives the kids someone who can climb on frames, teach them to play Frisbee and push swings and doesn’t get too tired.
“I don’t find it hard to be motivated. Quite often when I go to houses the kids are literally waiting in doorway for me. They’re so excited to have someone who’s made time for them. When it comes to the parents and they drop you a text during the week, you can see they really appreciate the support. It’s not hard to see how you’re having an impact, it’s right there in front you. There are many ways to support a charity: work, volunteer, give…but you’re often detached from the impact – this isn’t like that because you can see the impact on their faces.”
If you’re not yet involved and have been inspired by Rebecca’s story please follow the link below.