MEET OUR VOLUNTEERS (well, not all of them!)
We hope you are able to relate to and find inspiration in their stories.
‘I want to do whatever I can to improve the lot of children experiencing difficulties. I (together with my wife) have raised three sons to adulthood. Since retiring in 1996 I have worked as a volunteer at another charity with adults with learning difficulties. In the past I have played a lot of sport: football, cricket, badminton, table tennis. I like listening to people and getting to know what makes them tick. I can also juggle a bit! Oh and I like making cakes and cooking.’
‘I am a retired Paediatric Physiotherapist and have worked with children aged 0 to 19 years in both acute and community settings, often in their own home. I have also been part of a team of professionals who have taken children and young people on residential experiences. I am passionate about children and young people achieving their potential and having worked with vulnerable children and young adults in special schools and in the hospital, I wanted to use the skills I have acquired in continuing to work with children. I am a good listener and have good verbal and written communication skills. I am able to use my initiative and believe I can make relevant judgements in different situations. I am self-motivated and organised and quite flexible. I enjoy being involved with craft activities and games/sport for fun and have a good sense of humour.’
‘As a student studying English Literature I am looking to expand my experience within childcare in order to pursue my ambition to become a secondary teacher in later life. I have gained a lot of enjoyment in the past from assisting children both with and without higher needs. I feel this role is well suited to the skills I have already but can also serve to improve these skills and build friendships and trust in the process. While in education I have maintained a good relationship with various play schemes for both children with and without learning difficulties. Having lived in York all my life, I have a very strong knowledge of the area in relation to cafes, music venues, shops and the like- this also means that despite my inability to drive, I know my way around bus routes and cycle tracks.’
‘Growing up in a turbulent family and dropping out of school myself at 15, I feel I can relate to the situations that many of the young people referred to the Island are facing. Having turned my situation around into something much more positive I would love the chance to help others do the same. I think I could contribute constructively to the lives of young people by using my own experiences and building on all I have learnt.’
‘I feel I am a very supporting and caring person who is good at, and enjoys helping people; whether it be by listening to them talk, or by not talking at all but having some fun instead. I have always wanted to be an active person in the community and feel now I am settled I am able to commit to volunteering with children on a more long term basis. I have the ability to get on with people very quickly which helps get the best out of them and I genuinely just like and care about people. To be able to make a difference to a child’s life would be such a rewarding feeling and I would love to have the opportunity to help. Unfortunately I don’t have any relevant experience as such, I do however have a naturally caring personality and a non-judgemental attitude which I feel will enable me to be a good mentor.’
‘I have free time as my own children are now grown up and therefore demand less from me. I would like to offer something back to the community. I am a parent of two grown children, so have the experience of our relationship. I’m interested in seeing young people achieve their optimum potential.’