We asked Mandy Morris to share her thoughts with us about the recent event to celebrate the success of our work with local citizens . . .
I went to the celebration event in Preston that was held to recognise the achievements of the citizen focussed projects: Inspiring Young People, which helps to raise school children’s aspirations; Going Forward, which aims to prepare offenders for work; and Government Access Point, which gives practical advice to hospice patients and their families.
It was lovely to be surrounded by so many people who were enthusiastic and committed to the projects they had been involved in. It was also great to catch up with my old gang, the team of volunteers I worked with at Hindley Green prison, with whom I have made not only good networking connections but have also built strong friendships.
It was both invigorating and moving to listen to the different stories of the volunteers, including the one about the children who were given pasta tubes and marsh mallows to build a tower with, but instead ate their building materials! On a more poignant note, it was interesting to hear how the volunteers who worked in a hospice helped patients to make final preparations as they neared the end of their lives. The willingness of all the volunteers to share their experiences and best practice with others was clearly visible. We used our shared experiences to discuss and plan how future projects could be improved, and Jayne Kroll, the citizen projects lead, was given plenty of food for thought.
The efforts we made as volunteers were recognised with the presentation of certificates marking our involvement; I shall cherish mine as recognition of my part in making a difference.
The time I spent as a volunteer with the Going Forward project benefitted me in my day job, as I felt energised and motivated again. It has also helped me to obtain a competency example that I plan to use in applying for a promotion in the future.