In today’s series of blogs celebrating Student Volunteering week, I (Simon- Media and Comms officer) will be discussing a few of the ways I’ve been able to have an impact on the local community!
The best example I can think of are moments when I’ve really seen a child develop over the course of volunteering with them. As part of Right to Read, I read with one year 5 child who was one of the weakest readers in the class, mostly because she was afraid to make mistakes, and so froze when there was a word she didn’t know. Over the course of 4 months reading with her for 20 minutes a week, I tried to make myself look silly in acting out the text, and in getting things wrong that she knew about (mostly facts about horses!). By the end she was willing to give words a go that she never would have tried before, and even though she got some of them wrong, she now had the confidence to actually be wrong! This meant she could learn from her mistakes, one of the most crucial elements of education!
The other was as part of Kidz Kamp. As part of this project, a group of volunteers take a year 5 class from a local primary school away for a 4 day holiday with loads of trips and activities planned! On the last night, we had a talent show for all the children. One child, who had only moved to the UK recently and was a bit shy and unconfident speaking English, told me that he really wanted to enter the talent show, but that he had no talents. I knew he spoke French as his first language, so I recommended that he do a performance in French in front of everyone- as this was a unique skill he had! He practised a performance with a volunteer who spoke French, and got a huge round of applause and looked very proud at the end! I spoke to one of his teachers months later, and they told me that he had really gained in confidence since Kidz Kamp!
These are just a couple of the ways that I’ve had an impact on the local community, but with so many projects and different volunteering opportunities available, there are loads of different ways you could bring positive change to the local community! 🙂