Volunteers' Week 2022
Published on: 01/06/22
The Children’s Trust is home to 1,116 volunteers, who give up their time to support our School, rehab and clinical teams who work directly with the young people and children on site. This Volunteers' Week, 1-7 June, we are taking the opportunity to showcase some of our incredible volunteers and thank them for their efforts.
This Volunteers' Week, 1-7 June, we are taking the opportunity to showcase some of our incredible volunteers and thank them for their efforts.
Maria Coyle has worked in the marketing team at The Children’s Trust for 10 years. Alongside her day job, she also volunteers her time to supporting our clinical teams.
"Every Monday morning, I volunteer on Chestnut House, which is one of the residential houses for the children and young people who attend The Children's Trust School at Tadworth Court. I arrive at 7am and help the team in getting the children ready for school. This involves gently waking the young people up, helping them in choosing an outfit for the day, getting them bathed and changed, ready for the day and getting them into their wheelchair. If we're ahead of time, I sometimes have an opportunity to read a story with some of the young people. Then my day job in the marketing team begins at 9am.
"A group of us started volunteering at the start of 2022 to support the nursing and care team who were understaffed. We knew it was a difficult time due to staff being off due to Covid and that it was a real strain. We wanted to help our colleagues. But now it means even more than that. It's helped me gain perspective and develop both personally and professionally.
"I have absolutely loved getting to know the children and young people. I have got to know their individual personalities; what makes them laugh, what they enjoy. I really look forward to my Monday morning shifts. It sets me up for the week. The work I do during those few hours feels meaningful. I've also got to know the CSAs and other house staff who are a great team. It's lovely to see their interaction with each individual child and the support they give one another as well.
"Volunteering has added another level of depth to my role. It's a reminder of why we are all here. I can talk from personal experience about the type of support we provide at The Children's Trust. But also I feel I have a better insight into the needs of the children and young people and the ways in which they communicate their needs and express their personality. All of this supports my role within the communications team.
"On the days where staffing levels have been particularly low, I've seen how valued volunteers are in getting the children to school in time. And even having a volunteer simply read a story to a group of children while the clinical team are getting the rest of the children up makes a huge difference, for instance. Not only is this an engaging experience for the children and young people but it eases pressure on staff who know that all the children are involved in an activity."
"Volunteering is a great way to feel like you are making a real difference! It's also an opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people."
Oli’s sister Issy had rehabilitation at The Children's Trust in 2018. Oli is completing his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award this year and has started volunteering with us at our headquarters in Tadworth.
“The staff were always very welcoming and supportive with Issy, and I saw first-hand the fantastic care she received.
Whenever I visited her, she was constantly smiling and full of life. I used to leave my visits feeling reassured and happier knowing how happy Issy was at The Children’s Trust. When I found out I had to do volunteering work for my bronze DofE award The Children’s Trust was my first choice! I applied immediately.
“My favourite thing about volunteering is interacting with the children. Seeing their faces light up with excitement and joy when they have participated in an activity, knowing I have been able to support them in that. I have grown very fond of the children, and I look forward to seeing them every week.
“One thing I have learnt from volunteering is patience and that at The Children’s Trust no day is ever the same. If you’re thinking about becoming a volunteer, I would say just do it! You won’t be disappointed, and you’ll always leave your shift with a happy heart.
"I am exceptionally grateful to have this volunteering opportunity. It’s been an honour.”
Phil has volunteered for us for 12 years. He used to work in Whitehall and now volunteers his time in our marketing department as well as supporting in our clinical areas:
“Volunteering means a great deal to me, the fact that I am now in my twelfth year here speaks for itself. If I didn't enjoy it, I would have left some time ago! I really look forward to coming in once a week. The connection with the children and young people is satisfying, fulfilling, worthwhile and, on occasion, very touching.
“I also sit on various committees and help out with events, when held, such as fairs, fireworks display and the Supercar weekend.
“It is an acknowledged fact that volunteers play a vital, essential role in the daily running of The Children’s Trust, in whatever capacity. During my time here, the number of volunteers has increased by several hundred, a good indicator of how necessary we are considered.
“To anyone who wants to volunteer at The Children’s Trust- go for it! It is such an enjoyable experience, as well as therapeutic in many ways, and at its core ultimately has a great cause. You won't regret it."
If you'd like to be part of our team of volunteers contact Paul Fix, Head of Volunteering: [email protected]