What inspired you to volunteer?
I wanted to do something useful, have some different experiences and meet people I wouldn’t normally meet.
What volunteering do you do and who with?
I am a school governor and my husband and I are respite foster carers.
When did you get involved with this organisation?
School governor since 2022, respite carer since 2017.
What attracted you to this role & organisation?
I am interested in education as have a child at school myself. I used to be an independent visitor to foster children, so when I had my own child, my husband and I felt while we couldn’t be full time foster carers, this role is a way of contributing to helping foster children and supporting full time carers.
What are your activities and what do they involve?
For my governor role, I look at data on children’s progress, identify any areas of concern and areas where things are going well and then as part of the governing body, provide independent challenge to the school. My paid work involves analysing data and assessing evidence, so I apply those skills to help the school. Respite care – look after a child one weekend a month, giving them a different experience and giving a break to their parents/guardians/foster carer (it can be for any of those caring situations).
What motivates you to stay involved?
It is really interesting to apply my work skills to a very different environment through the school governor role. In the carer role it is great to meet different children, give them some fun and know it is also helping their carers/parents/guardians. It is good for our son too, he gets a different experience and a perspective on how not everyone has a life like his.
What have you personally gained from volunteering?
A sense of perspective. I’ve met lots of different people I would never have met otherwise, which I feel has opened my mind and helped me develop new skills. I get a sense of satisfaction and motivation to try different things.
What would you say to anyone thinking about making the leap and volunteering themselves?
Be brave and go for it!
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