Nirvana joined us at our Christmas holiday club sessions as a volunteer from Shipley College's Health and Social Care course. She shares her experiences here:
When I first got there I was a little scared because I had never worked with children before and I didn't know what I was doing but as soon as I got there I felt welcomed by the staff members. The children came and it was so lovely to see all the staff members quick on their feet with the child they were looking after. The staff were so lovely to talk to and it didn’t feel awkward at all. Everyday was different with different children which I liked because it meant I got to understand different special needs and how to deal with them. Diane, my tutor told me I would have light bulb moments and she was right. I was able to put stuff I learned from my course into real life situations at the job.
Tuesday was a calm day with a small group of children with medical needs. I started off by using the camera to take pictures of the children doing fun activities such as playing with playdough, using the sensory toys and listening to singing hands on the projector. The children also had some toast and juice for breakfast. The staff were so lovely to talk to and it didn’t feel awkward at all. I loved watching the children enjoy themselves so much. When lunch time came I stayed with some of the children to help them eat if they needed it and it was so nice to see them being independent with their lunches. I also walked around outside with one of the children and another member of staff. It was very nice to feel included and be able to help out.
Wednesday was very fun because I got to meet new children and learn how to play drums with them. There were also lots of activities such as a bouncy castle, Christmas activities and a sensory board With oats and frozen fruit on it. The bouncy castle was very fun because I got to see all the children's faces light up when they were bouncing on it.
Friday was a very crazy day but was still very fun to be a part of. There were a lot of children that came in on this day. There were drums to play with as well as a member of staff to teach us how to use them. I got some amazing photos of the children drumming and even got to join in with the children to learn how to play the drums. I got to be more involved on this day which was great because I felt that I was prepared enough from Tuesday and Wednesday to jump in and help when needed. I played hide and seek with some of the children and there was also ping pong. At lunchtime I helped a child eat some jacket potatoes. We also baked cupcakes with the children. They mixed up the batter and made the icing. They were very delicious.
All 3 days we had Santa come in and give the children presents. It was so cute to see their faces when they saw Santa and realised they were getting presents.
Overall I think this was a brilliant experience. It was very easy to understand what I needed to do to help the children and staff when needed. I think that Moor Time is a wonderful place to volunteer at because both the staff and the children are wonderful and so fun to be around. I didn’t feel like an outcast at all. I felt very included from day one.