Whilst I was at Uni I decided I wanted to volunteer more with children. My day job had been working with children for around 6 years, and I felt like I wanted to ‘give back’ and volunteer instead of working all the time. The 1st January saw me running a quick Google search and firing off an application to volunteer at CCHF All About Kids, who provide amazing residential holidays to disadvantaged children in London.
Ney mind it was over 5 hours away – I wanted in, and my first camp didn’t disappoint; it was a huge challenge with very little sleep, but I loved it. The kids were amazing, I made some great friends and before long I was volunteering regularly. A few years down the line I met Nick at a camp, and we embarked on a relationship that spent alternate weekends in Huddersfied and London.
Nick and I decided we wanted to go and do some more volunteering together, and we stumbled across Over the Wall, part of the Serious Fun network who provide life-changing camp experiences to children with serious illnesses and their families. We spent a week parading round in fancy dress, covered in face paint and singing at the top of our voices…and along the way we fell that little bit more in love.
Soon enough I was living in London with Nick. I was working at the charity vInspired, supporting an incredible team of 25 18-25 year old volunteers who were campaigning on big issues in their communities. I also joined the Motor Neurone Disease South London Group, where I met the most amazing group of friends, and volunteered with them to improve the lives of people living with MND in South London.
I’ve been in London for nearly 2 years now, and My job is recruiting, training and managing incredible volunteers at the charity Whizz-Kidz, who work to transform the lives of young wheelchair users.
Through volunteering I’ve achieved so much: I’ve raised thousands of pounds for both the MND Association and CCHF, along with friends I’ve met along the way; I’ve visited Buckingham Palace to celebrate CCHF’s 130th anniversary; I’ve met MP’s in Parliament and talked to them about the impact of Motor Neurone Disease; I’ve run half marathons and conquered the 3 Peaks Challenge; I’ve met friends for life who have made living in a brand new city infinitely better; I’ve met the love of my life.
Nick and I probably would never have met if it hadn’t been for volunteering, and we’re now engaged and planning our wedding for next year. Volunteering has literally changed my life for the better, and I wouldn’t change my job, or my own volunteering, for the world.