Every day we speak with volunteers involved in Scouting and Guiding and we are always impressed by their dedication to giving young people opportunities to do the things they love.
To mark the start of YouShape month, the VA team share their volunteering stories and it’s safe to say, the volunteering vibes are deep-rooted in this sharing caring crew!
I spent two months in Ghana volunteering in an infant’s school, teaching the children English and Maths. The children ranged from 2-6 years old. It was a really rewarding experience and was great to watch the children grow over the time I was there. I decided to go on this trip as I was having a Gap Year and I wanted to do something meaningful with my time. It was fantastic to be able to give back!
I currently volunteer for Girlguiding Nottinghamshire (I work in the shop, work on events and will shortly be on the PR team and a mentor for new leaders). I am also chairman of my Trefoil Guild and I’m also fundraising for Girlguiding through my Great Wall of China trek in September.
I do it because I like being involved but I’m not great at leading, so I help out where I can. The shop is fantastic as you see all sorts of people in there – from tiny Rainbows in their first uniform (that’s my favourite bit), to seeing Leaders every so often who have become friends. Not to mention a good cup of coffee, biscuits and lots of Guiding chat and inspiration!
On a trip to the World Centre in Mexico, Our Cabana, part of the programme involved taking part in a service project organised by ‘Habitat for Humanity’ so I spent the day working with Mexican families, laying floors and putting up walls for a house.
I’d never done anything like this before so it was challenging but amazing to see the difference that the houses we were helping to build were going to make to these families lives.
I volunteered at a local brownie unit for a couple of years before becoming Brown Owl and took part in various county and district events. I took them on pack holiday – dressed up as the Mad Hatter for the weekend on one and immersed myself in ‘Glee’ for another.
My highlights included volunteering at the local park (painting sculptures and laying bark for the paths), Countdown 100 Event at Newark Showground, campfires, stargazing, enrolling sessions and teaching them about Guiding round the world through food, games, dress-up and crafts. I’m looking to go back into Guiding very shortly as I miss helping out and the fun sessions that we used to have – watch this space 🙂
I volunteered at Queen’s Medical Centre Emergency Department. My mum has spent quite a bit of time in the hospital throughout the years with various conditions and I was also admitted for a week after I graduated University. I received such fantastic care as a patient at the hospital and so I wanted to give something back when I was well enough to do so.
I volunteered in a Cancer Research charity shop for an afternoon a week. I enjoyed the interaction with the general public but also the people who worked in the shop and the satisfaction of knowing that I was supporting a charity. I also got to help arrange the window displays each week, which was quite fun! I helped price up clothes and worked on the till, so it really helped develop my work experience skills!