1. Volunteer Spotlight: Angela, An Amazing Independent Visitor

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    This Volunteers’ Week, we are delighted to shine a spotlight on Angela, who became an Independent Visitor in June 2023.

    Angela has shown amazing dedication and creativity. Her visits have been wonderful experiences for the young person she helps, with fun activities like candle-making workshops, attending shows, and sharing coffee and cake. Angela always goes the extra mile to create fun and meaningful moments.

    Angela was matched with Annabel, a young girl who had recently come to the UK after escaping the war in Sudan. Because of the conflict, Annabel hasn’t been able to talk to her family and is worried about her mum and siblings. Angela’s ability to speak several languages and her experience teaching English helped Annabel feel more at ease.

    Angela and Annabel share interests in art, crafts, and reading. Angela found easy-read books for Annabel and gave her two at a time, helping her enjoy reading and learning. Despite the language barrier, they quickly formed a strong bond. Angela’s language skills and their shared hobbies helped them connect deeply.

    Angela noticed changes in Annabel’s mood, which was understandable given her situation. She continued her visits, offering a listening ear and engaging Annabel in activities to cheer her up and help her focus. Angela’s dedication to Annabel’s well-being and her adjustment to the community has been truly inspiring.

    Annabel’s Journey with Angela

    Angela has been a constant support for Annabel, helping her feel more confident and comfortable in the UK. Annabel has learned new skills, like making art, practising English, and using public transport. Together, they have visited many places like Liverpool Cathedral, Manchester City, Rainhill, and Prescot. They have also joined community groups like Shakespeare North Theatre, ‘Everyday Art’ at Wigan Old Courts, ‘The Happy Place’ women’s group in Wigan, and Liverpool’s ‘Merseymade’ workshops.

    Annabel often texts Angela after their meetings to thank her and share her enjoyment. She loves choosing from the activities Angela suggests and looks forward to the next set of easy-read books.

    Angela’s View on Volunteering

    Angela encourages others to consider volunteering as an independent visitor, saying, “One of the best things I did in 2023 was working with Annabel. Despite the challenges, it’s been a joy – very rewarding and life-affirming. I hope to continue in the role for a long time and hope Annabel achieves her goals and dreams.”

    Angela’s words capture the essence of being an Independent Visitor:

    “It’s very rewarding to be an IV looking out for a young person; I think the independent, voluntary nature of the role makes you more approachable. For me, the role is like being both a friendly advisor and a caring auntie.”

    We are incredibly grateful for Angela’s dedication and the positive impact she has made in Annabel’s life. Her story inspires us all to see the difference one person can make through empathy, creativity, and genuine care for our next generation.

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