Day in the Volunteering Life | Scarlett
Scarlett has been regularly volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House Southampton since 2018, becoming involved in a variety of different tasks, from events and parties to sorting through donations and also lending a hand to the housekeeping team from time to time.
Here Scarlett shares why she wanted to volunteer for Ronald McDonald House Charities UK and why she thinks it’s a great opportunity for others to get involved too!
Tell us how you first got involved with Ronald McDonald House Charities UK.
I was searching for a volunteering experience in a caring environment to accompany my current studies at the University of Southampton. I had heard about the Charity through a friend who had previously volunteered at one of the London Houses and when I found out there was a Ronald McDonald House local to me in Southampton, I thought it would be the perfect place for me! I expressed my interest to a member of the team and was kindly invited to have a tour of the House and sit down with a cup of tea to discuss the volunteering opportunities available.
What was your first impression of the Southampton House?
The House was comforting and really felt like a ‘home away from home’ for the families staying. Every time a family, visitor or volunteer enters the building, the warm welcome they receive is what makes the Ronald McDonald House so special. All of the staff are incredibly friendly and passionate. It makes me want to come back every week and contribute to such a great cause. It is so enlightening to work in an environment where each and every member of staff shows such compassion for others.
What’s it like to be a volunteer for Ronald McDonald House Charities UK?
As a volunteer, it’s a great privilege to work alongside the House staff, helping to meet the main objective of the House: 'keeping families together’. One of my personal highlights has been helping at last year’s Christmas party and being able to play with the children whilst being a Christmas elf and taking them through to see Santa! As a busy full-time student, it’s a reminder that despite how busy everyday life can be you can always make time, even if it’s just for a couple of hours once a month to support others who may be experiencing a difficult time. Volunteering at the House is one of the main highlights of my week!
When you volunteer at the House, how does it make you feel?
Regularly volunteering at the House has made me feel so much more confident when talking to new people and getting to know the families staying in the House and sharing in their stories. A simple smile or a “hope you have a good day!” to individuals can mean the world especially when you have an unwell child in the hospital and can be away from family and friends for weeks or months on end.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering for Ronald McDonald House Charities?
Do it! Contact your local Ronald McDonald House and find out more about the volunteering opportunities available! I recommend volunteering to everyone - it’s easy to believe that there aren’t enough hours in the day, but it allows you to take a step back from busy life and truly do something for others. It is such an incredible and rewarding experience. I’m looking to pursue further education within the healthcare sector and volunteering for the Charity has only cemented that desire. I am therefore incredibly grateful to Ronald McDonald House Charities UK for allowing this to be a possibility.
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