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Volunteering – this is my story – by Jess Gill

Volunteering with Central Cheshire Buddies Scheme has been one of the greatest opportunities of my life. I’ve been volunteering with them since I was 14 so about 5 years now. The charity provides several varied clubs that I have helped with over the years.

The main Saturday club which is always packed with activities such as: crafts, sports, trips to park and cooking. As well as the one to one group which provides children with more attentive support, in activities such as sessions at the Wingate Centre and swimming. Other clubs include a siblings group and Changing Lives which supports adults with disabilities.  I was given the opportunity to support all these groups in many activities over the years including; bowling, play world, canal boat trips, fun fairs, beach days and so much more.

As well as week long residential trips, to places such as Play Away in Yorkshire. For me personally it’s the most fulfilling job I have had the chance to experience. It has helped with my confidence levels especially in terms of decision making and responsibility in authoritive roles. My volunteering experience was a huge element to my personal statement.

This helped me get into my current psychology course at Bangor University. As well as providing me the volunteering hours required to complete my Duke of Edinburgh award. Over the years it has educated and prepared me, by giving me the experience I need for my degree and the certain career paths this will lead into. But most importantly, it’s an indescribable fulfilling feeling to know that a few hours of your day can provide families with respite and an accepting and supportive environment for their children.

I have enjoyed every session I have supported, which is why I continue to work with Central Cheshire Buddies Scheme around my studies at university.