Our Incredible Volunteers
Kirstie has been volunteering at Incredible Kids since 2014. She told us her story:
I used to volunteer with different groups supporting children who have special needs in the past but had to suddenly stop this due to my own health and was not able to return to what I was doing. I wanted to find a charity that supported children with special needs that I could get involved with within my current limitations which greatly effected my ability to play directly with children, I found this within Incredible Kids.
Incredible Kids were supportive and understanding of my own limitations enabling me to try and see how and what I could manage to do. When I started I found the welcoming and friendly atmosphere invaluable for me as I needed the social interaction myself as much as wanting to volunteer to support the organisation.
Not only does this charity provide invaluable support to families with a child with special needs, the other volunteers are a great group to work with. There are a variety of volunteer roles and the organisers are helpful in working with you to find the right role for you.
The most memorable thing I have taken away from Incredible Kids are the parents dealing with a child having a meltdown whilst the volunteers and other parents are carrying on with what they are doing not judging but provide available to provide practical emotional support for the parent during/after. Which is very different to the reactions I used to get when I use to take different children with special needs who have meltdowns out into local parks and for days out.”
Kirstie has enjoyed volunteering at Incredible Kids that she has now joined us as a trustee!
Margreth joined us as she wanted to gain work experience with children that have additional needs.
“For me volunteering was a starting point in developing knowledge and understanding with regards to children with special needs in after school/ weekend play group sessions. The environment was ideal because parents, carers, support workers and other volunteers where present.
The Volunteers at Incredible Kids are sincerely welcoming with open arms. I had the feeling that everyone attending sessions whether playing, coming in for a chat, or helping out is treated as equal, nobody is being judged. Ideas will be listened to and generally the aim is very much to let children have fun or let off steam. But also being able to watch parents to have a break or catch up on news, and share concerns with each other. There is a strong sense that as a volunteer you belong to a special community, a caring community.
Through volunteering I have had the chance to meet like minded people. It is wonderful to be able to just approach anyone at Incredible Kids discuss anything and share thoughts. Somehow you can not fail to make friends around such dedicated people. Incredible Kids are a wonderful charity letting volunteers explore about how they can make use of the time, help or support to make a difference.
The most memorable thing is being able to involve a child with special needs in suitable play resulting in making a difference. The realisation of the diversity of challenges children and parents have to face on a daily basis. The commitment and innovative ways organisers engage in to make such an incredible club roll on year in year out, and with a smile on their faces. Getting to know part of the local community. Self development, now looking at certain matters in a completely different way. Just being accepted and respected.
The time spent at IK has given me confidence. The best experience that volunteering has given me is widening an understanding to a new realistic world. I now know something virtually millions of other people choose to ignore to understand.
Margreth spent many many hours helping at Incredible Kids. Not only did she give up her time but she also nominated us to her employer who raised over £1000 for us at Christmas. Thank you Margreth!
Hilary volunteered at Incredible Kids for between May 2012 and February 2014. She worked in the kitchen preparing and serving refreshments, Hilary also worked with some of the older children in the kitchen to develop life skills – learning to work as a team.
“Hilary supports the parents emotionally and makes the children smile. She helps the older children gain life skills in the kitchen and they quickly become very attached to her and her kindness. Hilary does a very hard job in the Kitchen but does so tirelessly and without complaining. It is only really when Hilary isn’t there that we all realise quite how much she does for us.”
Jennie – Incredible Kids Trustee