I started volunteering because I wanted to learn new skills. I also wanted to be with others, as I do not enjoy being at home alone. I was a member of Equal People Mencap and really enjoyed their activities, especially the cooking and the evening social club. I knew lots of people there, it was really friendly and I thought I could help out, learn and have fun.
Equal People Mencap is a charity that supports vulnerable people to do the things they enjoy. I have learned to cook, grow things in the garden and I’ve now learned how to run a club and help people relax and enjoy themselves together. I had pictorial information to help me at the beginning but I know what I am doing now.
I volunteer at the Harrington Club, an evening social club named after John Harrington, who was also a volunteer. He was really friendly and welcoming and I want to be like him. I arrive well before the club starts and bake biscuits or cakes for the club with other volunteers. I also put the games, karaoke equipment and tapes out, do any tidying up that needs to be done and get the drinks ready. Then it is time to welcome our members.
If there is anyone new, I try to find out what they like, make sure they feel at home and let them know where everything is. I am one of a team of volunteers, we all work together to make sure everyone has a good time. Equal People Mencap is a really friendly place. Everyone mucks in together to help.
The best thing about volunteering is meeting new people, making new friends, being part of a team, learning new skills and seeing everyone so happy and having fun each week. So many things I am more confident now and I want to do more volunteering and maybe paid work too.
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