Business 365 Issue 3

Volunteering by Jane Howland

Volunteering can be a brilliant way of learning new skills, contributing to local communities, being socialor to finding a new purpose in life. There are a number of well-known benefits of volunteering and howyou can have an impact on your mental and physical health and how volunteering can help counteract theramifications of stress, anger and anxiety; in very simple terms volunteering can make you happy.

Volunteering at The Children's Centrecan provide all of these benefits andis a fun and easy way to explore your interests and the passions you find meaningful ; it can be both relaxing and also an energizing escape from the day-to-day challenges of work, school, or family commitments.

At The Children's Centre we currently have arange of volunteering opportunities:

Our Weekly Wellbeing Wednesday Club a small group that come together at the farm helping with activities ranging from digging flower beds, planting bulbs, to helping with a variety of farm group projects. From planting trees and growing in our poly tunnels, making bunting to decorate our long barn for community events, to baking cakes and making jams to sell. The help of our weekly wellbeing volunteers, both with jobs around the farm and with our groups, is immeasurable, and we all just love how they fit in with the team, and just how lucky we are to have them as part of ourTCC family.

Corporate volunteers we have been very fortunate to have some simply fabulous groups of people from local Manx businesses and organisations volunteer with us over the years. These groups have been able to help with bigger projects and we are always amazed how much enthusiasm teams come with, with a wide range of abilities that means so much is achieved in the period of time they are with us, often completing jobs that would otherwise have taken us weeks, and in turn taking us away from our core role of helping children and they families in their time of need.

Family & friends where would we be without outour family or friends? Always pulled upon to helpout at events, baking cakes for our themed events at the farm, selling raffle tickets or helping us feed our animals at the weekend. Husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, friends and their children, nobody escapes – even Peanut the Pug has offered his services on our 2.6 challenge fundraising campaign.

Take two of our younger supporters, Kate &Jasmine, both of whom have been helping out for at least 3 years now. Between them they can be been seen helping at events at the farm, face painting, bag packing at local stores,and even enthuisiastically running the scores in at our annual rounder's fundraiser. They also help at least one weekend every month, no matter what the weather, with our animal feeds.

The help and support of all our volunteers is invaluable. They help us get the job done, events quite literally wouldn't go ahead without their help, and much needed jobs at the farm may not happen. Volunteering is a great way to be involved in such a great local charity, to improve one's mental and physical health, make new friends and see first-hand what we do at The Children's Centre.

If you are looking for an opportunity to share your expertise, a business looking for a project to help with, or somebody that just wants to give some time to a local charity, whether that be volunteering time, baking a cake or helping at one of our fundraising events, then please get in touch and you too could become part of our Children's Centre family.

Comments from Sue the volunteer
'The benefits and rewards I get from being a volunteerat the Children's Centreare many. The pleasure you get from seeing the children growing in confidence and enjoying being part of a great team of people. I help mainl yin the gardens but can be called upon to do other tasks, such as decorating the farm for the Christmas fayre. Another benefit is I have made some great new friends. All in all to sum it up we have fun, growing, nurturing, seeing the fruits of our labour appear above ground with the help of a happy bunch of children.'

Comments from Linda the volunteer
'I began helping out at theCentre as I wanted to give something back to the island community within an environment which fits closely to my own values..... that of enabling people to realize their full potential. I look forward to my days at the "farm", always receiving a friendly welcome and I love the variety oft asks, indoors or out, depending on what the priority might be. Working alongside the young people who visit the farm, and getting to know them as they grow in confidence and ability, gives me a real buzz.

How can you help?

There are many ways you can support our work.

  • £3,000 per day to run our charitable programmes
  • £7 benefit for every £1 spent on Thriving families programme
  • 40% of local children and young people engaged in our services
  • 16 groups of all ages hosted at the Farm each week