June 1, 2015
Over a hundred people regularly give of their time and skills to support the work of the Cardinal Hume Centre in London. Nationally, 23 million people volunteer, and 1-7 June is time to celebrate their hard work in National Volunteer Week.
Kory volunteers in the Cardinal Hume Centre's nursery, Stay-and-play', and the afterschool homework club
I decided to volunteer because my partner and I are in the process of adopting and I wanted to gain some childcare experience. I thought that if I could use my free time to help others whilst also learning some new skills it would be win-win!
I'd talked with a number of nurseries, but the people at the Cardinal Hume Centre were so welcoming and excited to have me. They told me about the services they offered, the people who use them, and how much they relied on volunteers to deliver these incredibly important services. It made me happy to be there and I felt I would actually be contributing to something worthwhile.
I really wanted to get some childcare experience out of volunteering to help me prepare for parenthood. I also wanted to dedicate the time I had to something that would actually impact on other people. My expectations were exceeded! I learnt so much from the experienced staff, and the children too.
I didn't expect to enjoy getting to know the children's little faces, personalities, and characters so much, but I did! The people delivering the services are amazing " so very dedicated " and I have made some really good friendships that I will cherish long after I have completed my time volunteering at the Centre.
In the last year alone, sixty-nine new volunteers have begun at the Centre, with people teaching English and computer skills, giving support to the duty office in the hostel for homeless young people, staffing the welcome desk in the advice and assessment centre, keeping the Centre's gardens in bloom, and working in its charity shop.