It has been a challenging year in so many ways for Seashell, not least because we haven’t been able to benefit from the support of our volunteers who help us deliver the work that makes Seashell so special.

However, since April 2021 we have been able to welcome volunteers back on site to work outdoors. One such volunteer is Sue, who has supported many areas of our work and is currently adding real value to our Outdoor Learning Programme.

Sue said: “I chose to volunteer for Seashell when my youngest child left for university and I finally had some spare time. I had previously worked in a pre‐school and I particularly enjoy working with children and young people. I came across the Seashell volunteering page on the website and decided that this was something I would like to try.”

Since then, Sue has been involved with a number of volunteering activities.

She continues: “My first volunteering experience was with the Children’s Able and Disabled (CADS) holiday club, supporting young people to participate in sport, music, drama and art. This was a non‐stop, fun‐filled few days, where I got to try my hand at African drumming and wheelchair rugby, amongst many other activities.

“In school, I’ve helped with the set up and running of cookery lessons, have volunteered in the art room and have been involved with gardening and crafting in Outdoor Learning.”

Jean Barrett, Seashell’s Outdoor Learning Teacher said: “Sue is a huge help to me and has been for a number of years now. Definitely worth her weight in gold!”

More recently, Sue was trained to supervise staff taking Lateral Flow COVID-19 tests and helped out at a number of test sessions on site.

“I have gained many things from volunteering at Seashell, including good friends and new skills – both hard skills, such as art and craft techniques and plant cultivation, as well as soft skills through interacting with a wide variety of staff and students.

“The work of educating and caring for young people with many and varied special needs is very demanding. Friendly, supportive volunteers will always be greatly appreciated by staff, and in my experience, you will find that you learn and grow in many ways that could surprise you!”

Sue is now also contracted to deliver arts and crafts sessions for the children and young people who attend our CADS holiday clubs.

We are grateful to Sue and all our volunteers for all the time, hard work and passion they dedicate to Seashell and this Volunteers Week we are celebrating all their achievements and those of our children and young people, made possible thanks to them. Watch out for more stories on our social media.

If you would like to hear more about volunteering with us please get in touch.