Poonam Dosanjh has been volunteering for the ChildLine Schools Service in the Birminghamarea for almost six months, helping primary school aged children recognise and protect themselves from all forms of abuse.
The charity is now calling on more local people to volunteer to go into schools and deliver assemblies and workshop. People interested in finding out more about the ChildLine Schools service can watch a film about being a volunteer and how they can be a part of this exciting new service.
The ChildLine Schools Service aims to help primary aged children between the ages nine and 11, understand what abuse is, how to protect themselves, and how to seek help if they need it including through ChildLine.
Poonam, 23, works as a Learning Mentor in a primary school in Birmingham and became a ChildLine Schools Service volunteer in November 2011. “I wanted to get involved with something that had real meaning, where I felt I was making a difference for children and young people,” she said. “The feeling of personal satisfaction I get when I have completed a workshop or assembly with the children is brilliant and knowing that I have helped to protect them gives me a huge sense of pride.
“It’s so important that children are aware of abuse and how to protect themselves. We talk to the children about issues in a way that’s appropriate for their age group and they can understand. Children need to know who they can go to for help if they’re worried about something that’s happening to them.
“It is so rewarding, and I really would encourage people who are thinking of volunteering to get involved.”
Poonam was also keen to find a volunteering opportunity that gave her the opportunity to further her own skills and experience in working with children. The ChildLine Schools Service was ideal: “It’s great to work with other volunteers and the team from the Schools Service, as well as meeting teachers and children from local schools. I definitely feel that the fantastic experience I’ve had in volunteering for the Schools Service played a key role in helping me get my new job.”
The ChildLine Schools Service aims to help younger children recognise and protect themselves from all forms of abuse, including bullying. Volunteers will be fully trained and supported to deliver school assemblies and interactive workshops that aim to help children to understand what abuse is, how to protect themselves and how to seek help if they need it.
Julie Hilton, ChildLine Schools Service Manager for the West Midlands , said: “There is no set ‘type’ of volunteer and no previous experience of working with children is required. We need arange of people who are committed to helping to protect and safeguard children and who are able to go into ten schools a year to deliver the assemblies and workshops.”
The volunteer role involves presenting safeguarding assemblies and interactive workshops and provides the opportunity to work directly with groups of children and make a significant impact on their lives.
Schools service volunteers must be 16 or over and ChildLine will provide training and support required for the role.
For an informal chat about becoming a ChildLine Schools Service volunteer, call 0844 8920 225 or visit www.nspcc.org.uk/schoolsservice .