Volunteers at our Oxford youth club.

I heard about Yellow Submarine through a close friend of mine. After reading a bit more about the charity, I thought to myself that this is something which I should just grasp with both hands (and I’m so glad I did, as you will discover). So I filled in the online application form and received a very prompt reply.

Thinking back to my first day as a Yellow Submarine volunteer, I definitely felt the, normal, mixed bag of emotions: nerves and excitement. However, I can happily say that the latter was more prominent and this hasn’t changed during my time with the charity. The majority of sessions are structured and have a theme. Pizza Night, Bonfire Night, Chinese New Year and the Christmas party are to name but a few. There have also been unstructured sessions which are more chilled and laid-back, and have been just as successful. All the young people and their needs are definitely accommodated for.

This incredible and thoughtful charity wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for its people. The young people are so friendly and such fun to be around – there is always someone to talk to; the leaders and staff are the most welcoming and helpful people that I have ever met. I cannot stress enough how genuine and kind-hearted everyone is. I am grateful and thankful to be surrounded by individuals who have the ability to make my time so extremely rewarding. I leave every session with a smile, feeling enthusiastic about the next one and motivated to ensure that the young people enjoy their time. The help you give as a volunteer is made so much more worthwhile when you see the smiles and hear the laughter.

Reflecting back on the months that I have spent with this ambitious charity, I am extremely glad that I said “yes”. If you have the accessibility to such opportunities, then I would highly recommend getting involved. At least you can say that you tried something new and got an experience out of it – a superb one in this case! I will miss Yellow Submarine tremendously when I go off to university, but I am sure that I will be back to help out with their numerous holiday activities. It is something wonderful that I will look back on in future.