Children’s Centres volunteers

Volunteers for the borough’s Children's Centres say volunteering has helped give them an advantage in looking for employment.

Carla Kenyon, Joe Kay and Elaine Samson all help out at their local children’s centre.

Elaine Samson from Shadsworth started volunteering when she attended the Family Voices group at Shadsworth Children’s Centre.

Family Voices is a group made up of representatives from families who use the centres.

She now volunteers daily and has taken on almost every role at the centre from working on reception, in the community cafe to running the library.

“Whatever needs to be done: it’s a chance for me to give something back,” said Elaine.

“I love it. It’s really boosted my confidence as I’m just treated like a member of the team.”

Elaine from Shadsworth says not only has she lost weight  from her active role but she has gained lots of valuable work experience.

She like other volunteers have received training on everything from safeguarding to food hygiene.

And as a result she is hoping to secure paid employment in the future.

Griffin resident, Joe Kay is currently volunteering as Vice Chair of the Local Management Board at Hancock St Children's Centre.

The role has seen him take on a variety of duties from fundraising to supporting an Ofsted inspection.

It also means, not only does he have more say in how the Children’s Centre is run, but the lone dad of two is able to pass information to fellow parents and families.

“I get to know what’s going on so if I get talking to people in the school yard, for example, I can let them know what’s on offer or pass on their comments or suggestions.”

The former meter reader has also been helping out in the community cafe to get some experience to land work in a school kitchen role.

Carla Kenyon has found a six month stint volunteering at Livesey Children’s Centre has helped her back into work.

The former bakery owner gave up her previous job three years ago to look after grandson Timothy.

However, six months ago she decided to dedicate two mornings a week to volunteering to ease her back into employment.

It also gave her a chance to try out a change of direction without a major commitment.

The Livesey resident volunteered in reception and it gave her the boost she needed to land another job.

“I hadn’t worked for three years so it gave me back my confidence to get back into work.”

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