We are excited to share the latest insights from our volunteers who are currently matched at activities with our children and teenagers. These volunteers attend a weekly activity, such as sports clubs, uniform groups and drama classes, with a child with additional needs. The majority (82%) of the volunteers who responded to the survey have been matched at their activity for less than a year and the remainder have been matched for 1-2 years. Many of these volunteers have been matched for less than 3 months as lots of our volunteers left to start university and so children needed a new volunteer in the Autumn term.
We hope that children accessing our service will experience positive change in their own personal target as well as the three following outcomes
- Being more independent
- Gaining confidence
- Feeling less socially isolated
The majority (70%) of our volunteers said they had noticed an increase in their matched child’s confidence. And the remainder felt that their matched child’s confidence had stayed the same or they were not sure if it had changed, which may be due to the volunteers not having being matched long enough to see a change. None of the volunteers who completed the survey felt their matched child’s confidence had decreased. One volunteer said “H has progressed very well and has moved up 2 stages in his swimming. He has also improved his confidence in the pool and with his peers.”
Many of the volunteers (59%) felt their matched child had become more independent and the remining volunteers felt their matched child’s independence had stayed the same (29%) or they were not sure if it had changed (12%). One volunteer shared this about their experience; “I think my matched child enjoys their activities more by just having someone there to talk to if they need space or have any questions. I wish that more children and parents knew about Me2 Club and how much it helps in such a simple way”.
Our volunteers also reported that many (69%) of the children were interacting with other members of the group more, which indicated they are less socially isolated and are included in their activity. Again, the remainder of the volunteers said the children were interacting with others the same amount as before or they were not sure if there had been a change. The majority (94%) of the volunteers also said they were attending their activity ‘fairly regularly’ or ‘very regularly’ which also indicated the children are less socially isolated as they are able to attend their chosen activity on a regular basis. One volunteer told us this about their matched child “They seem more willing to communicate with others, able to freely be himself.”
We were pleased to hear so many volunteers are having a positive experience during their volunteering with Me2 Club and hope some of the volunteers who have been with us less than 3 months are able to settle into their roles in this new term. One volunteer told us the training had really help them feel comfortable and equipped. Another volunteers said “It’s been absolutely amazing to get to know everyone and the child that I’m supporting”.
Thank you to all our amazing volunteers who donate their time each week to support a child to take part in a mainstream activity. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your feedback and sharing your experiences.