Our Family Stories
Meet Billy and Pierce
Pierce has attended swimming lessons with the support of a Me2 Club volunteer since 2010. When he first started, he would cry and refuse to get in the pool, but with the support and encouragement of his volunteer he started to become more comfortable and confident. 7 years on, Pierce is still enjoying his swimming lessons and can’t wait to get in the water each week! In January this year he was re-matched with Billy who supports him each week by visually showing him what to do, repeating instructions and giving him plenty of encouragement. Since Billy started he has noticed a big difference in Pierce:
“During my time with Pierce I have seen a huge amount of progress, I have really seen him develop in his activity and in social confidence. My being there gives him the confidence he needs to try new things and let out his true personality – a happy, outgoing sociable young man.”
Pierce and Billy have come on two of our Days Away together, most recently on a teenager trip to Bristol, where we went for a meal at Pizza Express and to the Aquarium. It was lovely to see what a positive relationship they have and how well Pierce responds to Billy.
Meet Abhishek and Josh
Abhishek was previously supported by a Me2 Club volunteer to attend swimming. It went very well but when he transitioned from primary to secondary school, he was unfortuantely no longer able to cope with the activity. In January, Abhishek and his Mum decided it would be good for him to give badminton a try. The aim of the first session was to get him to join in for 15 minutes but amazingly with the support of his new volunteer Josh, he was able to participate in the whole session. Josh said “He always has a smile on his face when I see him. It’s great to see him improve each week and a privilege to see him thoroughly enjoying his badminton.”
Here is what Abhishek’s Mum had to say about their involvement with Me2 Club: “He is very happy going to Badminton Club. The volunteer is amazing. He is only 16 years old, but the patience he has for my son is unbelievable. He helps my son in every way he can to make him participate in the game. My son looks for ward for Wednesday to come so he can meet his volunteer and play with him. Every week I see the progress in him. I am very happy with how it is going. Thank you very much Me2 Club for making my son happy.”
Meet Jay and Grace
Prior to starting his Judo Club, Jay had been excluded from every mainstream activity he had tried. As a parent of two other SEN children it was impossible for his Mum to stay and support him during clubs and she had almost given up hope of broadening his interests. Then, Jay met his volunteer Grace. His Mum told us:
“Grace is a wonderful young woman with so much patience and understanding for my son. She has the perfect balance of allowing him to do things independently and gently keeping him on track. She notices the cues when he’s starting to get overwhelmed and instinctively knows what to do. I’ve never been concerned about leaving him with her support. Jay has had the exact right support to allow him to gain confidence and access an activity that would otherwise be impossible for him.”
Jay has now been attending Judo for over 6 months and absolutely loves it. His ability to participate and concentrate has improved greatly since he started and he is nearly ready for his first grading. Here is what his volunteer Grace had to say about her experience “Having never done voluntary work or worked with children who have a learning difficulty before, I was apprehensive about working with Jay. From being worried about not being able to support him, I now look forward to and enjoy the hour that I’m lucky enough to spend with such a special and enthusiastic young man with a passion for Judo.”
Meet Ellie and Leah
Leah has been volunteering with Me2 Club for over two years and in January she was matched with Ellie to support her at a local Guides group. Each week Ellie arrives with a smile on her face, pleased to see her volunteer. Leah helps break down instructions and visually shows her how to do things so she can join in with the toher Girl Guides and make friends. When asked about her experience Leah said “Being Ellie’s volunteer is such a pleasure. She is such a ray of sunshine and we always have a laugh, we always have so much fun and get on like a house on fire”.
Here’s what Ellie’s Mum had to say about Me2 Club “Leah and Ellie have become very good friends since Ellie started Guides, they have ltos of laughs and enjoy each other’s company. Leah allows Ellie her independence as well as supporting her when needed and this allows Ellie to join in with an activity which would normally be inaccessible to her. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity. Thank you.”
Meet Harry and Jake
Harry previously attended martial arts for four months but struggled with the noise level in the group and waiting for his turn. In January he decided to give Beavers a try instead with his volunteer Jake. At first Harry found it difficult and didn’t want his Mum to leave during the sessions, but Jake was always there to join in with him when he felt anxious. Jake had plenty of patience, understanding and a great sense of humour which really encouraged Harry to engage in the group which he now really enjoys.
Now every week Harry happily arrives at Beavers and says goodbye to his Mum, knowing that Jake is there to support him. This year he has been dragon boat racing, learnt how to cook bread over an outdoor fire, made a home for bugs and done many other exciting activities which would not have been possible without the help of his volunteer.
Here is what Harry’s Mum had to say about Me2 Club “Having Jake as a volunteer has made the world of difference to us. Harry has learnt to be more independent, and no longer relies on me being with him constantly. They have formed a bond and Harry really loves him. Happy Mummy, happy child.”