Our volunteers

Olivia

Why did you decide to volunteer for The Maypole Project?

The Maypole Project have always been a part of my life, from attending summer fairs with my family as a child, then beginning volunteering at the age of 14 through to now, age 19. My siblings and I grew up with a fantastic little boy who was the son of my Mums friend. We spent our childhood playing together – as a child, it never matter to me that he looked a bit different. It still doesn’t now, but as I grew into a teenager, I began to understand that not everyone thought the same as me and comprehend the severity of his syndrome. I wanted to engage and help with other families like his.

What do you find most enjoyable about your volunteering?

I love volunteering for the Maypole Project. The pure joy and happiness on the children’s faces is contagious, and to see children so overjoyed with a bouncy castle, a pony or a parachute can only make you smile from within. I love seeing the progress of the children over the years, especially at Maypole Active. Watching a child who would struggle to even enter the hall now throw and kick a ball brings me so much pride because I know that this progress is partially down to what my team and I have achieved.

What, if anything, has surprised you while volunteering for The Maypole Project?

I am not easily surprised in my volunteering role as I have taken the attitude of expecting the unexpected with many of the children that we work with. The only thing that does surprise me is when I look back and realise how long I have been volunteering for the Maypole Project. I have never felt bored of it or begrudged going to activities. I still love it as much as when I started. It is not a phase in my life. The Maypole Project is something that I now expect to be involved with forever. This was not something I ever thought about when I first started.

What three words sum up your volunteering at The Maypole Project?

Fulfilling, educational and uplifting

Molayo

Why did you decide to volunteer for The Maypole Project?

I joined the Maypole Project because I wanted to get involved in the community, in a place that involved helping to look after people. Maypole Active and the related outings also interested me, as they combine sports, which I have a passion for, with helping others, something else I care about.

What do you find most enjoyable about your volunteering?

Getting to know the children and other volunteers has been exciting. Meeting people from different areas and stages of life has helped to broaden my horizons, as well as making new friends.

What have you found most challenging about your volunteer role?

One of the most challenging things I found was establishing a relationship with the children I work with. Especially as many are non-verbal, understanding what they like to do and are interested in was difficult. Also, I found certain children were less receptive initially when I joined, but I found working with them more made them more comfortable.

What three words sum up your volunteering at The Maypole Project?

Family, Fun, Friendship

 

Amy

Why did you decide to volunteer for The Maypole Project?

I decided to complete a placement with The Maypole Project to learn more about the services that are available for children with chronic illness/ special educational needs and their families. Additionally, as the charity is local to me I felt a greater connection with the families and wanted to help support the children in any way I could.

What do you find most enjoyable about your volunteering?

I love the diversity of children that engage with both Maypole Active and activity days which has provided me with a good insight into the broad range of conditions children may have. I also love giving up my time to help support these children, and recognise the positive impact this respite care, even if just for an hour, can have on family members.

What have you found most challenging about your volunteer role?

The most challenging thing about volunteering at Maypole Active/ activity days has been learning the behaviour patterns of each child we work with, and recognising that behaviours can change very quickly so we have to be ready and flexible to change our plans.

Finally what three words sum up your volunteering at The Maypole Project?

Exciting, Challenging, Rewarding