Me2 Club enables children and young people with additional needs and disabilities, aged 5–19 years, in Wokingham and Reading, to attend mainstream activities. Jayne is a volunteer who provides one-to-one support to a young person at an activity of their choice – her young person has chosen Pilates.
Describe a typical volunteering session…
I meet my young person and her mum outside the venue a little time before the session starts. This helps to ensure I see how she is feeling and what her week has been like so far. It also provides an opportunity for her mum to share anything I need to be aware of. I then accompany her into the session and together we take part in Pilates instructed by the teacher. My role is to support, encourage and ensure she enjoys the Pilates session and our time together. After the lesson, she is met my her mum and we share how the session has gone.
What’s the most challenging part of your volunteer role?
The most challenging part of the role for me is wishing I had more time to spend with my young person.
What’s the best part of your volunteer role?
The best part of my volunteer role is seeing how she has grown in confidence, observing her feeling comfortable to engage with other people in the class, helping to build her social skills, watching her persevering when finding a part of the exercise class a little difficult and hear her laugh because she’s happy and enjoying herself and benefiting from the exercise too.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background…
I work for the John Lewis Partnership full time in a role that I love, but now my children are young adults I wanted to give time to a young person so they could benefit and enjoy a mainstream activity like my children did. Me2 Club is local, the volunteer training outstanding, with support and help if needed. I would thoroughly recommend volunteering because of the difference it can make to a young person and their family, plus it’s hugely rewarding as a volunteer.