CHIPS is a Hertfordshire based charity that runs playschemes for children with additional needs and their siblings. The playschemes depend on the support of young volunteers to interact and play with the children. One of their volunteers, Hattie, shares her volunteering experience.
Where do you volunteer and for how long have you been doing it?
I have been volunteering at the CHIPS Hertford Playscheme since November 2016.
How did you get in to volunteering and what do you do?
I went to primary school with a boy who was part of CHIPS. I originally took it up as part of my Duke of Edinburgh Award, but continued as I enjoyed it so much! I work alongside the children, helping them to communicate with others, whilst supervising and playing with them.
What do you enjoy about your volunteer role, and how does it benefit you?
I love learning new things from the children as I believe that they have really helped me with my communication skills. I have become so much more patient and understanding of others outside the scheme as well. There is also a real sense of community amongst the staff and volunteers at CHIPS, which creates a fun and safe environment to be in.
What difference are you making by volunteering?
I like to believe that even for 2 ½ hours, the children who come leave having developed, whether they just leave happier or more confident in themselves. At the end of the session, they seem genuinely happy and I like that I am a part of that.
If someone was interested in finding out more about the organisation you volunteer for how could they get in touch?
CHIPS have a website which has all the contact details and information that you need for all the schemes across Hertfordshire. Also, keep an eye out for charity events such as cake sales, which are a great place to support the amazing work, eat some yummy cake and find out a bit more about what we do.