'I have gained valuable experience of working with looked after children'
As part of Volunteers' Week we are showcasing some of our volunteers' amazing achievements, with a different volunteer each day on our blog. This year we are profiling volunteers who represent some of the more diverse volunteering roles we have within The Children’s Society.
Today, Issy Morris tells us about her time as an independent visitor
Q: How long have you been an independent visitor with us?
A: For two years.
Why did you choose to volunteer with us?
I had just been accepted on to a degree relating to children when I applied for the role, I wanted to work specifically with looked after children and thought the role sounded very beneficial to them. I called The Children’s Society to see if they had any volunteering roles and the rest is history.
What is a typical day volunteering like?
Arrangements are made with the young person’s foster carer prior to the day we are due to meet. I collect the young person from their home and we will go and do an activity of her choice. We normally have a catch up in the car on the way to talk about anything she might have on her mind, then when we arrive we focus on the activity and have great fun. On the way home we reflect on the activity and discuss what to do next time.
What have you enjoyed the most about volunteering with us?
Seeing how much the young person enjoys the visits and watching her personality grow.
Tell us about a particular highlight of your volunteering?
Me and the young person I work with went rock climbing, an activity chosen by the young person. But when she arrived she became unsure, however thanks to a fantastic instructor and encouragement from myself she got to the top of the first (very high) climb on her first attempt. She was clearly a natural.
Was volunteering what you expected it to be?
What have you gained from volunteering with us?
I have gained valuable experience of working with looked after children, which alongside my degree, enabled me to gain paid employment with The Children’s Society. I have also gained a large sense of fulfilment from the role, knowing its positive effects.
What would you say to other people who are interested in volunteering with us?
I received fantastic support throughout the training process with the strong belief my supervisor showed in me. This helped build confidence needed for the initial visits. I am now a well-established volunteer but know my supervisor is always on hand should I require support.
What would be your three top tips for new volunteers?
- Ask loads of questions, nothing is a stupid question.
- Trust your instincts.
- Believe you have the power to improve people’s lives.
Get involved in Volunteering
We have over 11,000 volunteers supporting our services, and this is just one of the many ways you can get involved and help children, young people and their families.