Jess (16) has been spending her summer helping herself and others by volunteering in a library, supporting their Summer Reading Challenge. Here's what she has to say about her experience so far.
What do I want out of volunteering?
Well everyone wants something - whether it's experience, points for university or just to make their CV look even better. For me it was all of the above, as I wanted to make sure it was something that would help me in the future. However it also needed to be something I would remember. It has certainly been that so far!
The first volunteer slot I occupied at my local library, I was thrown fully into a creative session. Over 25 children came to the table where me and a member of staff stood, to create creepy house masks.
These monstrous masks ranged from patches of glitter glistening gloop to terrifying, towering monsters. One little girl, intent on turning her monster into some sort of all seeing creeper, stole all the googly eyes causing her little brother to look a little shocked when she dangled the monster named Annabel in his face.
There was another situation, where the mother seemed happier in creating a hairstyle for her daughter's Dracula. She was there for at least half an hour after her daughter had drifted away to search for some spine tingling books - upon finishing, she proclaimed it was the best looking Dracula she had ever seen. That hair raising Dracula was even entered for the creepy competition - 'Who can create the best monster?'
The next few slots were a delight. Showing excited children where to stick their bat on our library's Creepy House was entertaining, and letting them catch a whiff of the smell of garlic from where their rewards are kept made me laugh. "It's to ward off the vampires", I told one little girl. She laughed and asked me to help her read her chosen book - Tallulah, the Dancing Fairy!
However, my favourite task had to be giving out leaflets in Knaresborough's famous market. Another volunteer and I cornered the children at the sweet stall and tackled them with the toys. A troupe of twenty took leaflets, all wanting to sign up. We were overjoyed, and after all the time we'd spent with each other, we'd made firm friends.The other volunteer, Bethany, is doing a university course in English and so she gave me lots of handy tips for the future.
I'm looking forward to the next volunteering slots - there's still plenty more to come, including meeting an author! I'm excited as so far, this volunteering experience has been right up my street - I've been in my element. It's helped the writing I do at home for fun, and has given me lots of confidence!
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