Volunteers urgently needed!

From a Volunteer – Ann Smith

Following retirement, I began to volunteer at Victoria Park Infant school in 2004.  I’d never been a teacher in school, though I was used to popping in and out of them. Having delivered ‘Meals on Wheels’ locally, I thought that the youngsters would make a real change. My free time wasn’t unlimited so the school and I settled on one morning a week, listening to readers, adding up and taking away, doing whatever I could to help the teacher, and importantly hearing the children’s news, troubles, delights, whatever was on their minds. I love working with five – and six-year-olds and I could fill a book with the stories they tell.

I remember one morning; a usually lively girl wasn’t quite herself. Something was worrying her. Eventually she told me that her cousin in Jamaica had just been diagnosed with cancer. I think it was too soon for her to tell the class; telling one person was easier.

There was one boy whose name I hadn’t learnt. When I asked, he said some word that meant nothing to me. Apparently, his father was big-time into computers. ‘All I can say’ he added, ‘I’m only too pleased I’m not called Google’. When a small Muslim boy finished his reading book, it turned out his next one was the story of the three little pigs. Having caught a glimpse of the title his chest expanded a couple of feet, adding to the seriousness of the situation, and he pronounced ‘I am a Muslim, I don’t do pigs!’  But I must add he read the book and enjoyed it.

We are delighted that all our schools are now accepting volunteers back following the pandemic and that all are current volunteers have returned. However, this has highlighted the urgent need for more recruits!! A number of schools are requesting additional support and we simply have no one to offer.  If you know of anyone who you think might like to join the Intergen Trafford and could spare a few hours to help in school, please ask them to get in touch.

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