I had been looking into doing some voluntary work with children for a while but a lot of voluntary jobs required a weekly commitment and I didn’t feel I could fit that in. I came across NYAS by accident. I was working at a volunteer recruitment fair, representing the charity that I worked for, and I got chatting to the lady on the NYAS stand. I’d never heard of them before and didn’t realise there was such a thing as an Independent Volunteer. But it sounded ideal and I signed up.  

I was matched with my young person when she was 11, nearly 12. She’s now 15, about to turn 16. I can’t believe it’s been 4 years! It’s been lovely to see her grow up in that time, from a child to a young woman who is about to start the next stage of her life as she leaves school in the summer to go to college.  

We’ve done lots of lovely things together in that time. From meals out and cinema visits to the Harry Potter Studio Tour and going up The Shard in London. I’ve had the opportunity to do things that I wouldn’t have done if I wasn’t volunteering.  

My young person is friendly, easy going and good company, so I’ve never really had any challenges working with her. Sometimes I find it hard to think of new things to do within our budget and my young person isn’t really forthcoming with ideas, but I’m always on the look out for new places and experiences and encourage her to do the same.  

I’m really proud to be an IV and to have supported my young person through the changes she’s experienced in her life in the past 4 years. I really admire her for how well she has coped with some difficult situations she’s been through and I look forward to seeing what she achieves in the future. 

Article by S (Wokingham IV) 

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