19 November 2019

Story Starter volunteer Angela Jones explains how she feels she is making a meaningful difference to young children's lives...  

I started volunteering as a Story Starter volunteer with Coram Beanstalk last year (2018).  I attended the training and then waited to be placed in a school. It took a while to get started because of the summer holidays and, being eager to start, I was tempted to volunteer somewhere else. But while volunteering somewhere else might have meant starting sooner, it would mean I wouldn’t be doing what I knew I really wanted to do. I am so glad I waited...

Getting to know the children

I went along to meet the teachers and the children for a few sessions before I started. This gave me time to make and gather a few props. When I started, two of the children were very quiet and shy. As the weeks turned into months I watched these children become confident individuals. I built up good relationships with them. It got to the stage that when I walked into the classroom the three children would run up to me and ask if they could read with me. How satisfying this was for me to hear.

Making progress

Before the children finished for the summer holidays, one of my readers was confident enough to read the words in the story to me. She was so pleased with herself she asked me if we could tell the class teacher how well she was doing. Being a volunteer with Beanstalk did not end with me just reading to the children. I offered to help with small outings and just talking and helping out in the classroom. This has meant I have got to know all the children and the teachers in the class.
The enjoyment and satisfaction I have got from giving my time and making a difference to these children has been immense.
I would highly recommend it to anyone considering doing this. I have enjoyed every minute. I feel I have made a difference in a little one’s life - Written by Angela Jones - a Story Starter volunteer in Southwark, London.