Supporting the Next Generation of Volunteers: April’s Story
Posted: Mon, 01 Jun 2020 12:37 by Miss Amy Bird
April started out on her current path through volunteering herself at Holford Drive Sports Hub where her son's play scheme was held. One day, when dropping him off, April asked if they needed any help and it started from there; initially taking the registers and then getting more involved with helping with the children and supporting the running of activities outside.
It is through this that April met the M.A.D. team, and it wasn't long before April proved her value and was offered paid work with them to continue her support of the summer programme. April's role expanded, and she became part of the 'Happy Healthy Holiday's' project team, providing healthy food, physical activity and social opportunities for children during their 6 weeks' holiday.
As part of the project April took on a supervisor role, delegating to the young volunteers, leading administration to ensure the registers were completing and that everyone was doing the tasks they'd been set. April often found herself dealing with incidents or 'fallings out' among the volunteers as she could relate to individuals and help to resolve issues, along with ensuring everyone's safety.
April started to take on a more important role as a mentor and guide to the volunteers, who were experiencing their own journey through learning and volunteering. April was able to recognise some of the anxieties and the lack of knowledge the young people had. They exhibited behaviour such as being shy, or a bit laid back, not wanting to help or get involved, but April helped them get over their hurdles of not always knowing what to do, and they responded positively and listened to her advice.
With her own large family, April lives her life surrounded by children and young people. Since working as part of the the M.A.D. programme, April has come across a few children and young people with confidence issues and finds herself being more connected to her work than she ever has been before. An example of this is when April made a connection with a young lady the previous day, and had messaged her offering good luck and positivity due to knowing that she had some problems with peers at school. Actions like this is what has inspired April to get into Mentoring and to start working more within youth work and outreach.
"…A lot of them [the young volunteers] want to come back and gain more training. And now they can see a career in volunteering and in youth work, teaching etc. which is really good for them! A lot of them leaving school got their exams and they're now looking at a future in something like this."
April had wanted to take this path before, but didn't know how to get started. Through volunteering, April gradually built-up her confidence, hands-on experience and discovered a route to set her on an exciting career path.
She has since gained new connections, skills and the knowledge so that she has the momentum to take the next step to explore future training and qualifications.
April wants to be a role model to the 23 young volunteers she worked with over the summer, showing those of them who want to have a career in youth work like herself, that they can with the right attitude, commitment and enthusiasm to get there.
Watch all the volunteers and Aprils journey last summer in the following video
For further information about the M.A.D programme and to get in touch with a member of our Outreach Team, please visit the following page.