What I enjoy most is interacting and making relationships with families and making sure that everyone enjoys themselves ...
Rachael McLennan volunteers at Play Rangers, an outdoor group run by a team of parents as part of the Children's Centre programme. It’s for children aged 0-5 and it takes place on a Wednesday at the Seagulls Centre garden in Gorleston.
"I used to bring my daughter to the Forest School and Seagulls Outdoor Play groups", explains Rachael. "She loved these outdoor groups, but sadly they had to finish due to funding cuts. When I saw a volunteer position being advertised to help run the Play Rangers group I felt I would love to get involved, as the Seagulls garden is a valuable resource that shouldn’t go unused. I didn’t expect to feel quite so passionate about the amazing space we have been given to use and look after, but I am hoping that our long term impact in the garden will bring me job satisfaction."
During the weekly session the Play Rangers tend the garden and pond, creating and nurturing natural habitats for insects, frogs and other minibeasts. The children have the freedom to run about, get wet and muddy to their heart's content, jump, shout, hop and play in a safe space. They can search for worms and other minibeasts in the digging pit, water the vegetable garden from the water butt, create exotic dishes in the mud kitchen or take part in varied outdoor craft activities which change each week.
Through being a volunteer Rachael has had the opportunity to learn new skills and become involved in the planning and organisation of the group. Volunteering at groups within the Children's Centre is particularly ideal for parents as they are able to bring their children along.
"Since I began my confidence has grown massively and I have made some lovely friendships with the ladies that I volunteer with. Our children/grandchildren have also become good friends."
She adds: "What I enjoy most about being part of the group is interacting and making relationships with the families that come along and making sure that everyone enjoys themselves. It’s rewarding to be able to help to signpost parents/carers if they need any advice. I have also gained some qualifications that will help me in my current volunteer role and perhaps in the future too."
We currently have opportunities in the Children's Centre for a Play Ranger Volunteer, a Story Teller and a volunteer who can assist with setting up and helping out during activities at our busy Story Cafe (held at Gorleston & Great Yarmouth Libraries).
If you would like to see our full list of opportunities visit our Current Opportunities page.
Or, if you prefer, you can call our Volunteering Coordinator, Joleen Azevedo, for a chat:
T: 01493 743014 E: firstname.lastname@example.org