'Volunteering is very worthwhile'
Christine Horton, 65, has been a volunteer speaker for years, and has organised local Christingle services. Volunteer speakers are based across the country and provide a vital role in promoting our work, whilst also raising vital funds.
Becoming a volunteer
I was asked to become a volunteer with The Children’s Society, but it seemed like a good idea, especially as I am a Lay Reader and Lay Chair of Chelmsford South Deanery, which means I have a lot of contacts and can advertise my position well. I also take Christingle services and can offer to do these and set them up. I have enjoyed the work I have done.
I undertake talks as and when I am asked. This could be every few weeks, with more talks being requested around Christmas time.
Outside a Christingle service, I usually do a talk lasing from 30-50 minutes depending on what the requirements are. I use the material that I was provided with from the society and sometimes use a laptop, depending on where the talk is. The individual case studies and stories are very good to use and provide a good focus of interest.
Learning through volunteering
The part I have enjoyed most about my role is getting people interested in the charity and being able to raise vital funds. I have recently been getting asked to do talks a little more frequently because word has got round of the talks I have done elsewhere.
As a result of the material I have been given, and a residential weekend spent with The Children’s Society, I have learned a lot more about its work and individual case histories which are always interesting for people to hear. I have also been interested in the research it has done.
Volunteering is very worthwhile and you can enjoy meeting people who are always very grateful for you coming to talk to them. As well as enjoying yourself you have an important role as a speaker to disseminate information about the society and bring people up to date with the position of many children and families who need help.