In a small to medium sized charity such as Phase, the help and support of our volunteers is crucial. Phase thrives because of the wonderful work that they do, and it is noticeable that this is felt at all levels and in all areas of the organisation!
1st - 7th June is National Volunteers Week and as there are so many volunteers (around 50 at the last count!) helping Phase to support children and young people in Hitchin we wanted to celbrate them. I can’t, unfortunately, tell you about them all. However, to give you a flavour of some of the volunteers and the amazing things they do I’ve chosen five of them and below I’ve tried to explain a little bit about their important contributions in Phase.
Office support - Rebekah
One of the aims of the office team is to assist the school’s workers in any way so they have as much time available as possible to do face to face delivery with young people. We help by creating many of the resources that can be used by schools or young people; writing top tips, designing distinctive planners or creating customised worksheets...
... Rebekah is one of our newest & youngest volunteers, who spent 4 months in her gap year volunteering with Phase in the Hitchin office. She has just finished University (see her blog on Unfinished Endings) and is now volunteering for Phase again (remotely during Covid-19) whilst looking for work. Her gifting for creating vibrant and engaging artwork has been of immense help to us all!
Primary school workshop delivery - Pippa
As part of our Early Intervention work, Phase delivers five workshops each academic year to Y6 students in 12 primary schools. Three workshops are based around transition from Y6 - Y7 and two are based on Christmas & Easter. Volunteers work with small groups of children within the workshop, inteacting in a personal and responsive way...
... Pippa has volunteered with Phase for many years. She currently works as a teacher in a primary school though previously she worked as a church family worker. Pippa has a daughter at The Priory School, and she has a quiet but calm way of connecting with children - a much needed quality when given a group of lively Y6 students to work with!
Monthly Prayer Guide compilation - Maureen
Each month we send out a prayer guide and a newsletter to update supporters on the work of Phase - events we have done and opportunities to support that are coming up. Whilst much of the content is sent via email there has been a significant number of people who have requested to receive a hard copy of these communications. Writing a prayer guide and newsletter is one thing... getting them printed, folded and into named envelopes ready for delivery is another…
... Maureen is one of our oldest (I’m sure she won’t mind me saying that!) volunteers. She replied to an advert asking for help once a month to collate the prayer guides and newsletters. It may seem a simple insignificant job, but it has been such a blessing! Maureen has always been full of cheer when she comes to help, telling a Scottish tale or two, and keeping us up to date on the family. (As I write this blog, Maureen is very poorly, and we send our love and best wishes to her and all the family - Amanda)
Time Trek co-ordination - Mary
Each half term break Phase helps to provide a 4-hour holiday club for KS1/2 children called Time Trek (TT). It’s delivered jointly by many of the Hitchin churches, but co-ordination of all those involved is a huge and time-consuming task. With the admin side originally completed by Phase this was identified last year as an ideal volunteering role…
… Mary Deller was previously one of our Phase Reps and has helped in most areas of Phase schools work! She has a daughter in The Priory School Sixth Form and is involved through Hope UK in drugs education delivery in many schools. Her flexibility to be at the term time TT meetings and her attention to detail in sorting the registrations have allowed TT to continue to run, and we are all extremely grateful.
Website updates - Andy
Sometimes technology just runs ahead of us all and we need technical help to keep things updated. But this usually comes at a cost! As an organisation that works with young people, our online presence is of vital importance, and a good website that can be updated at ease and adapt to the current demands is critical...
... Andy works for a website development company, but volunteers some of his time, through them for us. He attended local schools in Hitchin and so is aware of the positive impact that Phase has on the young people who are struggling in school. Contributing his area of expertise has been invaluable to Phase, and the good humour that comes with it is an added bonus!
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