How you can make a difference
Meet new people
Be part of the community
Volunteers do a wide variety of things in our schools such as
- Work with teachers in the classroom
- Listen to children read
- Work with small groups of children cooking, sewing, gardening, cross country running…
- Share their expertise by supporting school music, art and IT programmes
- Help in the school office, act as co-ordinators or trustees
How we do it
- Work with teachers in the classroom
- You decide how much time you can give and what age children you’d like to work with
- You tell us what you’d be happy to do e.g reading etc
- We fill in the necessary CRB forms that the government require schools to have for volunteers. They are sent off by us
- We match each volunteer with a suitable school and teacher
- When we have CRB clearance we introduce volunteers to their school and teacher
- We provide on-going support for our volunteers
- We run local termly coffee mornings or afternoons and we have one gathering per term for all our volunteers.
It’s not just about what you do for others – it’s also what you get back…
Lynda Mason is one of our newer volunteers, having just completed her second year at an infants’ school in Stretford. She and fellow volunteer, Val Davies, mostly run craft classes.
We asked her to share her thoughts on how she has found it.
V is for VOLUNTEERING AT VICTORIA PARK INFANTS SCHOOLfor 3 hours a week. The school has, at least, 6 volunteers each week, so it’s a popular activity and a popular school.
O is for OVERALLS. With imagination & eagerness children can get glue and glitter everywhere. Thank goodness for protective overalls, paper towels & old newspapers!
L is for LIFE SKILLS. Intergen volunteering is an opportunity for the older generation not to lose but to share some of their life skills and knowledge with a younger generation.
U is for UPLIFTING. It brings such pleasure to watch the children over the space of a year grow in confidence and improve their skills.
N is for NOISE. Now this is something I don’t like about schools. Why do children have to shout all the while? Some volunteers love the general hub- bub of the classroom but me, I’m glad that I work either on a one-to-one basis or with groups of 4.
T is for TAXING. I never feel more taxed than when listening to a child read and asking if they understand a particular word and they so “No”. [Heart sinks!] The simplest of words are a challenge to explain in easy to understand terms.
E is for EAGERNESS. How can you not fall in love with children’s eagerness for knowledge?
E is for EDUCATION. Never mind the children, it is surprising what you might learn! In our animal masks activity we also read about the animals the children chose. How would I ever have known otherwise how long a male tiger’s tail is (1 metre), how old an owlet is before it learns to fly (4 months) or how many hours a day koala bears sleep (20)?
R is for REFRESHING. It can’t be anything but refreshing, with so many happy, eager faces around you. Last year was a difficult year for me, with building work at home. I was frequently tired and, yes, sometimes thought I could well do without going volunteering. But it was the best possible antidote because it distracted me & made me forget my builder’s latest excuses!
I is for IMAGINATION. Craft classes are a space for letting the imagination run wild and wow are some children good at it. One child in our paper weaving activity was so inventive that we used her ideas to improve future sessions.
N is for NECESSARY criminal records background checking of volunteers. This means teaching staff have a safe resource to call on if they need additional adult helpers. I have helped out on sports day and a trip to the local library.
G is for GENDER STEREOTYPES. It’s startling to learn how young gender stereotyping kicks in. Given a choice of colours in the craft classes, at just 6 the girls nearly always want pink and the boys either red or blue, according their preferred football team!