In this blog we catch up with volunteer Katie Doney and find out about her work with TrinityLearning and her advice for others thinking about volunteering.
Katie worked as a general nurse for around 12 years when she had to take time out due to illness. It was then that she started volunteering in preschools and taking childcare qualifications. She worked in a crèche for 10 years and did a BA in Early Childhood Studies. She also got involved with local charity One-Eighty, and their Make Me Smile campaign and helped with her local food bank. She is now studying for a Masters in psychology.
How did you get involved as a volunteer for TrinityLearning? I helped with the Trinity church toddler group. As I got more involved with the group, I met TrinityLearning trustees and staff like Eve, Selina and Rosemary and got to hear more about the organisation. I am interested in children’s emotional health and my experience seemed to fit in with what TrinityLearning were doing.
What do you currently do for TrinityLearning? Thinking Books and Kingfisher Singing.
What does this involve? Kingfisher Singing: One morning a week we go to Kingfisher school and we sing fun songs using actions and props. We do half an hour in one class and half an hour in a different class working with children with special needs. I think pretty much all of them are non-verbal.
Thinking Books involves reading a particular book, from a list of chosen books. It’s one-to-one reading with a child for about 20 minutes a week to improve their self-esteem and potentially their coping skills.
Can you share a positive experience you have had as a volunteer? I think there’s been loads at Kingfisher school. There was one child who didn’t seem to clap and then he did start clapping during one song and it was a big breakthrough really. And then there was another girl who doesn’t really speak and her mum was delighted that she used a phrase from a song that we sing very, very regularly, and reported that back and she was very excited. There’s lots of positive experiences from Kingfisher!
What would you say to those considering volunteering for TrinityLearning? I would say, even if just a little bit of you might like to volunteer then don’t be scared and even if you don’t feel very confident then go for it because there’s lots of support and training and there’s other people and there’s things to help you so you don’t have to do it all yourself.
If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering with TrinityLearning please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org