Earlier this month we held a competition to give all our volunteers an opportunity to write all about their rewarding volunteering experiences and tell others how they have benefited from the various programmes at Square Mile. The prize for the Most Inspiring Blog was a £50 Highcross Gift Card and two close runners up receiving a £25 Highcross Gift Card.
I have learnt that mentoring is about nurturing and encouraging, not just academic attainment writes Volunteer Mentor, Sarah Clark. The simple logic underpinning mentoring is consistency, which builds a relationship of trust that will inevitably teach your mentee that they are important, special and valued in an environment such as school that is chaotic, scary and overwhelming. The reward for mentoring is simple, it is the change in demeanor you witness and the knowledge that you helped develop that. Mentoring is only one aspect of my volunteering through square mile.
It is unbelievable to see how much of an impact you can make as a volunteer, writes DMU classroom assistant Afreen Ahmed. I started volunteering in a primary school working with children in year one. I was assigned to work with students who are learning English as an additional language, so it is their secondary language that they are learning. These pupils have little or no understanding of English. I attended my placement once a week and I gradually learnt all of the children’s names in the class.
There were many challenges to overcome whilst I taught and assisted the children with their tasks during lessons. At first it felt like an obstacle, but I gradually realised it was a learning curve, not just for the students, but also for a teaching assistant, like me. I learnt ways in which I could teach them. I soon realised that by being a smiley and friendly person it helped the children develop confidence overall. Facial expressions really do help when learning a second language.
Working with children for the first time was one of the many new and exciting challenges I faced when joining the mentoring scheme at New College Leicester writes Volunteer Mentor, Jonathan Boreland. The mentoring scheme aims to benefit students academically and help them as individuals. So, at New College Leicester I was paired with two year 7 students who had been identified with behavioural problems.
Applying to the Frontrunners Scheme two years ago, I never would have thought I would be invited to go to Italy to do a presentation at a prestigious University, writes Pharmacy student Poppy Woods. I have just spent 5 days with an amazing group of people including my colleague Aamir Hussain, David Hollis of Square Mile, Dr Ruparelia, Dr Marilena Ioannou and Dr Ruta Furmonaviciene to form links between DMU and the University de L’Aquila. We even spent a day in Rome sightseeing and absorbing the culture to end a great trip. I can’t thank DMUglobal enough for allowing me to take part in this amazing experience and especially the lecturers who came on this trip who have taught me so much about research, professionalism and networking in the short time we have spent together.
My placement with DMU Square Mile was with the company ‘Moving Together’, writes Volunteer, Georgina Hall. ‘Moving Together’ delivers the arts award to children of all ages and also dance and movement sessions for the elderly. During the placement, I was situated at Dane Hill Primary School, where I helped to deliver an after school dance club to children in years one, two and three. Working at the school I was able to interact with a wide range of pupils. I assisted the timid students in year one right through to the vibrant year three students. This meant I had to change my approach to the array of students, in order to make sure each individual felt included. Continue reading
By Bavia Dulabh – DMU Square Mile International Frontrunner
After a day long journey to India we finally arrived in Daly College Indore where a group of local students was waiting to welcome us all. The warm weather at that moment was just a small sign of the differences between the UK and India we would later discover.
The first shock we faced was the busy and chaotic traffic in the roads. It seemed to be a lawless traffic where the conventional rules did not make any sense. Yet, I was fascinated and entertained observing how skilful the Indian drivers were in such dangerous traffic conditions. This was just the first cultural shock we would encounter.
Saturday the 4th April we held a very successful Square Mile Easter Egg hunt followed by an afternoon of fun activities set up for the children in the Newfoundpool Community centre, in partnership with Leicester City Council. Over 50 enthusiastic children and parents joined the trail to see how many Easter eggs they could find. The children engaged with one another, and together with the help of the Square Mile volunteers a fun and relaxed atmosphere was created. Continue reading