Three of our volunteers in the Finglas Early Years share their volunteering experience

Three of our volunteers in the Finglas Early Years share their volunteering experience:

Posted on Friday 26 July 2019 in Volunteering

Shenda Anyaegbunam has been volunteering since 2016.

I assist the project workers with the emotional and social development of the children in the early years service. I am an extra pair of eyes, ears and hands in a room of between 12 to 14 children.

I decided to volunteer primarily because I had some spare time with my youngest child halfway through secondary school. I also had a strong desire to give back by way of voluntary service within my community. A Barnardos leaflet in my letterbox made me make the call!

I visited the Finglas centre and saw first-hand how the centre works and I felt I could contribute. That was 3 years ago! I volunteer for 2 days a week and enjoy the support I give towards the development of the children. There is nothing more satisfying for me than seeing a non-verbal child speak, a fussy eater eat lunch finally, when a child uses conflict resolution or when a child with poor concentration sits down to listen to a story. The early intervention programme is truly an amazing programme delivered by dedicated staff. I would say to anyone considering volunteering for Barnardos to just go for it and give it a try as you will have no regrets based on my experience. Importantly, you will make a difference in a child’s development even by helping with the smallest tasks. Barnardos provides an invaluable service to vulnerable children and being part of it is a fulfilling and enjoyable experience for me.

Yvonne Gilroy has been volunteering since September 2018.

I decided to volunteer with Barnardos because I love children. Having four of my own I thought I may have some experience to offer. I help out in the Finglas Early Years service. It is extremely rewarding to see the children grow and learn.

Barnardos provides breakfast and lunch for the children, which I help distribute. We have circle time to sing along to, and the garden to play in as well as all manner of arts and crafts to get messy with.

It's really like being a kid yourself again for a few hours while making sure they are all safe. I have learned so much from the amazing staff there, who are so patient and kind that it gives me a gentle reminder to be the same in my own home. I would recommend anyone who had even a little time to volunteer as I can truly say I get much more out of it than I could possibly give.

Catherine Eustace has been volunteering since January 2019.

I am currently a volunteer in Finglas Early Years service. My role is to support the team and help out with meals, classroom and play activities. There are 12 children attending the school Monday to Thursday. I volunteer on a Monday from 9.30 until 1pm as the role is a support one, I help out wherever I am needed. The children eat two meals, breakfast and dinner in the school and I help out with the meals along with all the other activities such as circle time, play time, arts and crafts etc. whatever is on the plan for that day.

The team are wonderful as are the children, no two days are the same. I started the role in January 2019. I decided to apply after talking to a very good friend of mine who is also a volunteer at the Finglas scheme.

The school was looking for helpers and I was looking to do volunteer work. I have volunteered on various committees over the years and I wanted to find a role near my home. I applied for the role and was delighted when they asked me to help out. The hard part was getting to know the names but it wasn't long before I slotted right in. I love being part of the team and I like being able to help out in Barnardos and hopefully make a difference. It's great to be able to provide that extra pair of hands and to have one on one time with each of the children. I have enjoyed getting to know all of the children and I feel very much part of the team now. One of the highlights was when I arrived one morning recently and got a huge hug and a big welcome from one of the children. It's a great feeling to know you are helping and hopefully making a difference. The best part of volunteering is giving something back, I have the time and Barnardos need the help. It's a win win situation! If someone was considering a volunteer role with Barnardos I would say apply and try it out. If it works out you will have the chance to help others, make good friends, develop a new skills set and also have the opportunity to attend training sessions.