From attending CADS, volunteering and then gaining an Apprenticeship, follow Lorna’s journey with Seashell

My Name is Lorna Croft and I have been involved with Seashell for the past 6 years.  I started attending CADS (Childrens abled & disabled sports) holiday club in 2017, with my brother Louie, who has Downs syndrome, ADHD & Autism. As CADS is open to children with disabilities and their able-bodied siblings, I continued to attend for a number of years. It was great that we could both access the same activities, even though our needs were different.

In 2021, I attended CADS as Louie’s PA, this experience made me realise that I would like to volunteer and help other young adults enjoy the experience like my brother does.

I spoke to Seashell’s Volunteer Business Partner, Stephen Pearson, about my interest in volunteering, he supported me to apply and has been a great mentor during the entire process.

Early this year, I became a volunteer with CADS, and just a few months later I was offered a position as a paid member of staff, working at both the Saturday Clubs and the Holiday programme. I was then given the opportunity to do work experience with the active team for a week, where I got to shadow lifeguards, attend cycling events and much more.

I really enjoyed my time with the team, they inspired me to think about what career I wanted in the future.

An opportunity came up to apply for a Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship and was thrilled to be accepted onto the course. I started in September and have already learnt so much during the first term.

All the staff have been very welcoming and supportive, and it’s been great to work alongside them within the school. I really enjoy interacting with the students and supporting them to get involved in the fantastic activities such as biking, swimming, cooking, arts, etc. You really do feel like you are making a difference.

Some advice I would give to someone considering volunteering at Seashell would be – just do it! You get to learn a lot about yourself and get to be part of a great team. There is an amazing energy at Seashell, and everyone is made to feel welcome.

Interested in volunteering and want to find out more? Click here