In the realm of social media, each day brings forth various celebration days and recognition events, from National “Fish and Chips” day to World Book Day! However, when I discovered that this week was Volunteers Week, I couldn’t let it pass without expressing my gratitude in this blog post.
At Children’s University, our whole aim is to encourage and reward learning beyond the classroom. We do this because whilst learning is often associated with teachers, whiteboards, and school hours, and a huge part of it does occur in the classroom, it doesn’t end at 3pm when the bell rings, and it’s not always based on academic knowledge. Learnt skills such as building relationships, teamwork, knowing how to win (and how to lose) are all valuable skills that are needed to become a functioning and resilient adult. These skills and qualities are a perfect example of the learning that takes place during extra-curricular activities, often sparking interests and passions that continue into adulthood.
Children’s University learning is made up of two main things: school-led activities and after-school clubs or visits to our Learning Destinations. These destinations include museums, libraries, and all the weekly clubs and groups that go on, such as grassroots sports teams, Brownies, Scouts, Gymnastics, Swimming, Dance and more! And on reflection, it’s evident that most of these after-school clubs and community-based activities would not exist if it wasn’t for volunteers.
These volunteers are often overlooked. Most people don’t realise that teachers give up their own time to run after-school activities, and there are lots of teaching assistants and dinner ladies running amazing clubs across schools in Sefton and Liverpool too! Most of our Learning Destinations are run or propped up by people who volunteer their time (and sometimes sanity…) to support their local community and ultimately our children. Whether it’s the mum who helps out at the beginning of gymnastics, the dad who found himself coaching and managing his child’s under 9’s football team, the Scout or Brownie Leader, or the lovely Maureen who teaches children sign language in Southport (check her out here: www.practicemakesperfect.org.uk), I want you to know that you are our unsung heroes.
Our volunteers are the fire starters making a massive difference, often without seeing the full impact despite the part you play in shaping our future generations. They are the unassuming role models, demonstrating what a good person really is through their actions, and what we hope our children will grow to be.
From all of us at Children’s University, and as parents, thank you to our volunteers for everything you do… We salute you! Happy Volunteers Week!
Children’s University Manager