It's Volunteers Week and, as an organisation that relies heavily on the dedication of our volunteers, we want to celebrate and say THANK YOU to our amazing team!
Did you know...?
Wow! Our fantastic team make such a difference to the experience of our children and young people so we are incredibly grateful for their support.
Emma Swann, Volunteer at Snappy, has written a piece to share her experience of volunteering with us:
At Snappy there is no typical Saturday. Each week is like volunteering someplace new! Whether the children are old or new, talkative or quiet, lively or tired, the day is going to be eventful in the best of ways.
I usually cycle into Snappy. It’s easy to get to, with a large accessible car park and footpath running down the side of the children’s centre. After locking up my bike, tucking my stuff away and signing in as a volunteer for the day, the fun begins! The children often spread themselves into different rooms that are available throughout the session, and with them are volunteers and staff. It’s easy to spot who’s who, from the navy green clothing of the staff to the bright green t-shirts of the volunteers, to the more subtle and stylish outfits of the children!
The playrooms are rarely separated by age or ability- all children are welcome anywhere. Moving from space to space is easy thanks to the lovely garden space that the rooms collectively open to. A lot of the children enjoy spending time outside. Some take books to look through on the benches, whilst others challenge you to races as they peddle for their lives on the tricycles! The outdoor space is also ideal if a child needs some time away from the busy or noisy atmosphere of a room. Whilst it’s safely surrounded by fencing, it doesn’t feel claustrophobic, and it gives the children space to jump and run around.
As I said before, there’s no typical Saturday at Snappy. In the Pineapple room, there’s everything from a DVD playing on the computer, with children gathered around to watch, to painting set up on the table. Books and toys and teddies are all available to whoever fancies! The Cherry room comes equipped with a small indoor climbing structure, that’s safe and always well-supervised. I’ve known games of catch to have been initiated around it! Some children prefer to sit on the sofas and look through picture books or tap on their electronic tablets. The Cherry room has a range of toys and seating, as well as a toy kitchen. It’s the perfect space to ‘buy’ a delicious non-edible sandwich that’s been cooked up by one of the children. Thanks to the soft, foam furniture and squishy moveable mats, some children have been known to give the staff and volunteers a tiny acrobatics’ show!
The kitchen is where the children go to eat. Sometimes baking kicks off if the mood strikes, but usually it’s a good quiet spot when lunchtime hours are off, if a child wants a one-to-one or a space to calm down and ground themselves. Allergies are taken seriously, and the children keep to their own packed lunches respectfully – though at times a little reminder from the staff and volunteers might be needed. I mean, sometimes another child’s yoghurt looks pretty tempting…
Throughout the day, volunteers come and go. In the corridors – where children are supervised – they might be passing from room to room, popping into the office, checking their phones or chatting amongst themselves for a little break. If you have any questions or need some support, the staff are happy to help and easy to talk to. Many of them have seen the children grow up from their shared time at Snappy, and they recognise the best ways to communicate or calm the kids when necessary.
I’ve been volunteering on days when impromptu trips to the park for lunch have commenced. I’ve been volunteering on days where surprise birthday celebrations, with chip butties and cake, are held. I’ve been volunteering on days when it’s quiet and on days when it’s busy. It doesn’t make a difference at Snappy.
There’s no typical Saturday – no doubt about that – but it’s always an enjoyable Saturday nonetheless!
Reasons to try out volunteering with Snappy: