In my role at Craft Aid International I am responsible for the role of volunteers in our organisation.
It's my job to organise them (well, try!) Make sure everyone has the training they need and we have the right people in the right place for sessions and school visits and events etc.
Even though it's my job and I'm doing it most days, I'm still in awe of people who volunteer their time to charities.
This is time that they could be seeing friends or doing their own chores or any number of many tasks I'm sure they have on a mental list like all of us.
But instead they selflessly give their time to improve someone else's life.
And that they do.
Of course they'll tell you they love the craft making, the company and friendship and it's only a couple of hours, but to us as an organisation it's priceless.
And to our participants it's a really big deal.
That companionship for the afternoon working on a mosaic or creating some cards means the world to our participants. It's conversation. It's someone interested in who they are and what they like, what they've been up to and boom, just like that they feel important.
How magical is that !?
I think it's incredible and I am humbled to witness it every week.
I see the enjoyment our volunteers get from seeing the difference they make. There's often many a tear shed after a school session where you see participants being accepted and treated kindly by children who have not yet been tainted by society's assumption that being differently-able means you don't have anything to contribute other than making people feel awkward to be around you.
There is no awkward here.
Only love and acceptance
I think that's what volunteering is, it creates magical moments.
So if you volunteer at your child's school or your local charity then thank you for the magic, and if you don't, why don't you come and make some magic with us ?
We'd love to have you.
Written by Liz Cluderay .
(If you'd like to get involved and find out more about volunteering opportunities with us, email Liz here: firstname.lastname@example.org)
My time at Craft Aid International - by Ella Green our former intern
During my time with Craft Aid, I have seen…
1 new project begun in Ecuador, which will bring transformation to the lives of many differently-able people in Santo Domingo, just like Neema Crafts Centre has done in Tanzania and now the project in Peru too. And...
2 new talented volunteers trained and equipped to plant this exiting new project in Ecuador.
4 big annual events raise thousands of pounds, and bring the creative gifts of many differently-able people to the attention of the local community (our Summer Ball, Happygate, the Knitting and Stitching Show and our 1940’s night.) You can still book tickets to our Summer Ball this year here!
More than £100 000 raised by our supporters for the project in Peru!
And the list goes on…
It’s amazing to see how much has been achieved by everyone involved with Craft Aid in such a short space of time. I feel like I have learnt a huge amount through my time working here, from seeing all the work that goes on behind the scenes of running a social enterprise, to organising fundraising events, to learning how to make paper out of all sorts of unusual things... who knew paper could be made from elephant dung or bananas?!
I want to say thank you to Susie and everyone at Craft Aid for having me, for encouraging me, and for being patient with me when my crafting knowledge has been a little patchy! Also a big thank you to everyone who has supported me financially, so that I could work full-time in the Craft Aid office. I couldn't have done it without your help.
Thanks so much for reading!