Volunteer profile: Gemma Watson and Alannah Elliot

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5th Year Earlston High School, Borders College Child Care.

Organisation AND Town of Volunteering?

Earlston Youth Project, Earlston group.

A brief description of volunteering role and responsibility?

As volunteer youth helpers we help organise and lead sessions on activities and crafts, make snacks and play games.

How often do you volunteer?

Every Wednesday during term time for an hour-and-a-half. Sometimes if there is a fundraising event we will do what is needed.

How long have you been volunteering?

We have both have been volunteering for more than three years.

Do you volunteer anywhere else, if so where?

Gemma volunteers at Wired on Borders Radio and Child Rights, the Brownies and Guides. She is also fundraising for a trip to Peru.

Alannah also volunteers at Wired and also with the Brownies and Guides.

How did you get involved in this volunteering opportunity?

Gemma heard about the opportunity from her sister who attended the club and told her that they required volunteers.Alannah used to be a member of the club and then moved on to become a volunteer.

Why do you volunteer and what are the benefits for you?

We both really enjoy working with young people. It improves our confidence and we learn new skills, and it gives us experience as we would like to work in this area in the future. Volunteering with the Earlston group also helped Alannah gain her place at college.

What difference has your volunteering made?

It means the youth project can keep going and more activities can take place at the club. It also gives the young people who attend the club a role model to follow, which means there will always be volunteers for the group.

What is your greatest achievement during your time volunteering?

Raising more than £200 at a fun day for the youth club and receiving awards and certificates for volunteering. And the feeling of being helpful and doing something good.

What hopes do you have for the organisation that you volunteer for?

We both hope that more young people come to the youth club in Earlston and all the clubs in the Borders, and that in the future it will have its own building and facilities, such as pool tables, table tennis – whatever the young people want. We also hope more adults will volunteer and support the club.

What messages would you give to other people who are thinking about volunteering?

Go for it, it is really fun and a great experience. It can be good for your CV.

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