How long have you been volunteering with ABC to Read and what do you do for them?
I’ve done this for 15 years.
What made you start volunteering?
I actually was a lecturer at Reading College of Technology and I was a nurse before that. My husband died of MND and I thought “What could I do? What expertise have I got?”
With 4 children of my own: 2 boys, 2 girls, I was interested in working with children. So I thought, voluntary work would just suit me and I think ABC to Read is a very good idea, they do play an enormous part in education and they cover a number of schools in Reading. I entered into it and it’s been really fun.
What difference do you feel your volunteering makes?
When I first started you’d meet people in year 6 that couldn’t read. People with autism or dyspraxia were passed on to us simply because there was nobody to concentrate on them.
I think what a volunteer does is listen when teachers don’t have time to. If you can help children with communication skills with interesting stories and imagination I think you’ve done some sort of a good job!
What do you feel you get out of your volunteering?
Oh, I like a challenge. I like the challenge of helping somebody who can’t read and watch them progress, it’s the sense of achievement, you do find it very rewarding!
What word or phrase best describes your feelings about volunteering?
Challenging, exciting and rewarding!