Aston Project volunteer Dawn shares her thoughts with us.

It all started offering to help with a craft session that was being run, as I love all types of crafting. That was nearly 2 years ago now, and I haven’t looked back.

I enjoy working with the different groups from the different areas as the kids are so diverse. I have gotten to know them over time and I love the fact they have opened up to me when they realise that I am there because I want to spend time with them and listen to what they have to say. They aren’t always sweetness and light and can have their off days but, when they see that I still keep coming back their trust grows as does their attitude, in fact, a couple call me their second mum and that makes me smile. It gives me pleasure to watch these kids grow and experience things that they may not have had the opportunity for if they weren’t part of the project, and I personally have experienced new things too and felt very honoured to take part in some of the activities.

I was extremely proud last year to receive a Chief Constables Certificate of Merit and be one of the finalists for Volunteer of the year for my volunteer work with the Aston Project amongst other things. I have time to give and it makes me feel good to think that hopefully I may have helped make a small difference to one child’s life. I enjoy it so much that I suggested my 16yr old son come along last year. He enjoyed himself immensely and was invited to become an ambassador, which means he comes along to all sorts of activities and the kids get on great with him and can see that things can be different— and that they can be different. On the back of his volunteering, he is now considering a career working with young people.

I can’t think of a more rewarding and worthwhile way of spending my spare time, than investing in the futures of our children.