A few years ago I took up a volunteer position at the YAC with Lyndsey.  I’ve been on and off over the years due to work commitments, kids, college and other things that seem to come up but have been around long enough to see lots of kids grow and go, a bit much like the group we have at the moment.  A few weeks ago I was in the Gate and was looking through some photos and found some of my own kids that came to the Gate every Tuesday night for years.  I was talking to them and they were telling me of the great memories they have of the Gate and other things like doing the shoe boxing at Christmas, Derek really enjoyed helping Anna and Fraser on a Wednesday and still has the furry robin that Dr Burnett gave him from the toy box.  The girls always enjoyed helping with the cooking and serving for Spice and Ice.  We were talking about John Pickles and Allison Pickles and how after the barbecues (remember running for extra sausages Lindsey) we played a game of rounders’ over at the low green.  Not to mention our competitive ministers nature when pursuing sporting activities.  Volunteering for my children and myself has created many memories and when we look back we all agree it was fun and never really a chore.  Building skills and learning new ones has also been a plus point as well.  Since starting with the Gate I have realised a desire to be part of a group that encourages and inspires young people to be the best they can be.  They too hopefully when they are older will look back with fond memories of the trampolines at East Kilbride, the Time Capsule and our summer visit to M & Ds which is always a great day and the Laser Quest which I can’t take part in now as I can’t seem to see that well in the dark.  I am digressing again but the memories reappear as I write this article. What it is really meant to be about is the benefits of volunteering and how great it is to volunteer with children.  Time for the bullet pointed list before I digress again.

  • It changes lives and changes yours too
  • You can play a positive role in someone’s life
  • You can learn and develop your social skills
  • It gets you out the house and is very rewarding
  • You can meet new people
  • It benefits the community your child is part of
  • It builds your confidence and self esteem

This list is a short one but there is so much more (and I’m only allowed so many words). For me I give back what my children got, I build my self-esteem and confidence as well as my spiritual life.  I play a part in the community we all want to see and that gives great job satisfaction.  Give it a go.  Im sure there will be a list of opportunities somewhere.

Cheryl Norbury