I recently attended an Enterprise volunteer day, which was organised by Civil Service Local (CS Local), and ran by Sunderland City Council (SCC). I thought I would write a little about my experience, and hope that it will encourage others to volunteer their time also.
I am not going to lie, I was a little bit nervous. I wasn't going to know anyone there, nor really what to expect from working with primary school children! The Enterprise Day was called ‘Box Clever’ and is a whole day event. The aim of the day is for the young people to form their own company so they had to come up with a company name and to produce a box which will need to be decorated. The volunteer role was to act as a facilitator to a group of students.
I arrived at the school with an open mind, and a mixed sense of excitement and nervousness. We were given an itinerary of the day and a briefing session. Once 9am arrived, we went into the hall and the year 6 children (so about 10/11 years old) all filtered in, forming groups of 7 or 8 children and I began work with one group.
I have to admit, it was challenging at first, but once they got going I was actually astounded by the enthusiasm and commitment the children showed, they were very well behaved and actually engaged in what they were doing. The presentation at the end of the day was brilliant to see all the children up on the stage talking to the whole year group and teachers and volunteers. I am not ashamed to say I was a bit emotional when my group got up, they did me proud!
I thoroughly enjoyed my day (have a look here if you want to hear a bit more about it), and I have learned some skills that I could think about using inside and outside of work. It's amazing what you can experience when you step into other people's work shoes.
I would encourage everyone to take a look at volunteer opportunities that are out there, and totally use your 3 days a year. It's a rewarding experience, and I loved it. Have a look at the opportunities on the CS Local Blog and the most recent EBP calendars and get in touch with the team to get involved.