Volunteering for Yellow Submarine has been a fun and mind-opening experience!
I originally signed up to volunteer with Yellow Submarine because I wanted to gain some experience for my CV and I thought it would also be a fantastic occasion to meet all types of new people.
The first time I volunteered was at an activity day which involved taking a merry bunch of children to the Pitt Rivers Museum in the morning, to the nearby park for lunch, and to the Story Museum in the afternoon.
Truth be told, although I was very excited about the activity day, I also felt a little bit nervous: despite often hearing people talking about “learning disabilities” around me, I actually had no idea about what a “learning disability” actually was or indeed what it implied for someone to have a “learning disability”. I had very little experience of working with children so I also felt slightly apprehensive about making sure that they were safe whilst having a great time.
As it turns out, there was no reason to be nervous, and plenty of reasons to be excited! The day before the activity I got an email containing all the information I might have needed which was very reassuring, and on the actual day the staff and other volunteers were just so good at answering my questions and making sure I felt confortable J
By the end of the day I found that I was significantly more confident in engaging with the children than at the start and it was so rewarding to see that they are having such a brilliant time! I think the highlight of the day for everyone was the massive dressing-up session we had at the Story Museum – there’s nothing more fun than walking around with a ridiculous hat on your head whilst everyone else is dressed in equally goofy outfits!
I have since then gone to many more activity days and they’ve all been just as fun: I am constantly meeting new people, both members of staff and participants in the activities, who are very nice and great fun. I have learnt a lot from them and am hoping to learn much more in the future!