More Volunteer Stories

North Belfast Centre of Mission

Meet Heather (pictured above)! Heather volunteers for our North Belfast Centre of Mission with their Baby Basics hub. She puts together essential baby packs for disadvantaged mothers to give them the best start with their new babies. Thank you Heather!

“I haven’t enjoyed anything as much in years. The interaction with the children is great. They seem to enjoy it so much. Very satisfying for us all.” – Susan Skillen, Ardoyne, Belfast

Below is an extract from a letter from one of the Afterschool Club volunteers, Heather Smith, where she talks about the great work they are doing.

…I think it is going very well. We have made a connection with the children which, for me, is what it’s all about.  The children enjoy coming each week and this is evident as they bounce in from school, and can’t wait to get started with the activities which usually, for many, is playing snooker with Stephen, whom they love – I know we’ve tried, but wouldn’t it be great if we had more male leaders.  Oh well, as that song goes, “You can’t always get what you want!”

As we know, toast is another favourite on the agenda and often Susan must put on more to feed the hungry little mouths.  Recently, carrying out cooking activities, making the likes of rice crispy buns with the children, is something else I think they have enjoyed and, as we know, more basic recipes will follow.

Obviously, all clubs for children have rules about behaviour but for us, as an inner-city parish, I feel this aspect has been even more important.  By setting boundaries, the children have been made aware of what behaviour is acceptable and what is not, whatsmore, it keeps them safe and let’s them know when they have crossed the line.

One of the things I love about the afterschool club is how the children open to us.  You can be sitting playing a game or doing a craft activity with them and suddenly they will start to tell you about their day in school or about their friends or family life – even more evidence that we are making a connection as they obviously regard us as their friends and even counsellors – brilliant!

More importantly, I absolutely love the Epilogue at the end, a short scriptural talk, sometimes using concrete examples and at other times visual aids. What could be a more fitting way to end this time together than “planting seeds” for Him and getting His message out.

As I think about my hopes and dreams for our afterschool clubs, it is none other than seeing the numbers increase but, we’ll just have to keep praying!

God holds the future and that’s okay with me…

The Amber Project

Clara volunteered at the Amber Project in Cardiff. The Amber Project exists to support any young person (aged 14-25) in Cardiff and the surrounding areas who has experience of self-harm. Here’s what Clara has to say…
“I spent two amazing academic years with Amber as a student volunteer alongside my studies. The knowledge and experience I gained with the project contributed tremendously toward my successful grades. I had access to numerous training sessions with the project itself and outside organisations, which are sought after in this sector. I had access to all but one of the workshops with the young people and could attend to suit my schedule. I was able to watch the progression from workshops to performances on event days and the Amber pantomime. As well as workshops I had access to team building days with staff and ACT (Amber Creative Team). The staff were welcoming from the beginning and were always happy to answer the many questions I had for them. I always felt part of the team and was always supported by staff within the project, who ensured they always made time for me as well as having clinical supervision. Amongst all other things, my time at Amber was rewarding and life changing. The staff and young people at the project are inspirational and the work they do is phenomenal. I will be sad to say goodbye but will value my experience with them.”

Llandaff Centre of Mission

In response to the need during school holidays for disadvantaged children to receive good nutritious lunches, these ladies, along with others, have been volunteering over the last three school summer holidays to hand out lunch packs to the children of Briton Ferry. In the first year they made 600, and last year they managed to make a whopping 720 lunch packs! Amazing!

Time for God Volunteers

Though their time at the Marylebone Project was cut short by the Covid-19 crisis, Hanna, Anita, Josie and Lea worked hard offering their skills and passion to help our vulnerable women, always with smiles like these!
Josie writes: “I have to thank you, for giving me the opportunity to work for and with you. I’ve learned a lot, even though my time as a volunteer was shorter than planned, but I’m grateful for everything I was able to do and learn.?”