Photo of volunteer, Sabaa

My Volunteering Story – Sabaa

1) How long have you been volunteering at Grimm & Co and why did you start volunteering with us?

My journey with Grimm has been going on for around 2 years, on and off, and I’ve loved every second! I started volunteering here because I wanted to fill up my college/uni timetable with something that would benefit others and myself! Grimm is also a literacy charity and I study English Literature, so it made sense!

2) What area do you usually volunteer in?

I am a Story Mentor and it’s genuinely one of the most rewarding things I have ever done!

3) What’s the best thing about volunteering with Grimm & Co?

The absolute best thing is when the children feel comfortable enough to express themselves fully during a session. It normally happens when they break off into small groups and form ideas together, and they tend to take the lead of the thought process from the mentors and it just makes me feel so proud and excited to hear all their ideas. It’s such a lovely thing to see because I know that they feel like the sessions are safe spaces where they can suggest absolutely anything, which shows how useful the workshops are. Genuinely the best thing to see is a child feeling confident and excited about their idea, it makes me so happy!!!

4) How has volunteering with Grimm & Co helped you?

It’s reaffirmed for me my choice of career of wanting to go into teaching in the future. Being able to build my confidence and skills around working with children has been so beneficial to my hope of becoming a teacher.

5) What’s a lesser known fact about you?

That I’m a huge football fan! I’ve supported Liverpool since, I believe, the day I was born, as my football mad parents ensured I was a die hard supporter. Nothing like the thrill of a goal to warm yourself up on those cold Saturday nights!!!

6) Why would you recommend volunteering at Grimm & Co to others?

Grimm & Co is so rewarding, it’s so wonderful and it’s exactly what I would have wanted as a young child. It’s the most perfect place and I never get tired of volunteering at Grimm. I can’t recommend it enough to anyone who wants a challenge, who wants to use their time for a worthwhile cause and who wants to actually do something to benefit others.

7) What myths about volunteering would you like to debunk? (i.e. what misconceptions do you think people have about volunteering that you’d like to tell them aren’t true?)

Volunteering isn’t boring, it’s not a long process to start and it’s not just uni students who do it!! Grimm’s whole volunteering processing stage didn’t take long, and it was done before I knew it, and I was volunteering straight away! I was given independence very soon into my volunteering journey and was trusted and supported endlessly! I’ve also met sooo many people from so many different walks of life who choose to volunteer at Grimm. I’ve learnt a lot from all of them, in how they run sessions, how they communicate and build comfortable and safe spaces for the children and what it means to be a successful and brilliant mentor.

Another myth is that volunteering is one size fits all. It’s definitely something I thought before I started and worried I wouldn’t fit in or enjoy it. Thankfully, right when I started I had many options (and still do now), trying the role of a workshop mentor, a shop elf and an admin assistant, and even translating letters from the children to the creators of Fortnite, Santa Claus and Mr Happy! You have the opportunity to do so much, and grow so much!

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering, click here.