Shea (age 15)
Shea is the youngest volunteer at Montage Theatre Arts, a Lewisham performing arts charity working with children, youth, adults & older people from the local community in South East London.
I started volunteering because I really enjoyed being around the staff and kids. It’s a really friendly environment for people to have fun.
When I volunteer I do things from face paint to supervising the students at breaks. Also I help out in their singing, dancing and acting classes. I think the kids really enjoy having volunteers who are only a bit older than them as they can ask about recent experiences we have had that they might experience soon.
Whilst volunteering I have gained leadership skills and experience of being in a working environment with the staff. It gives me a great insight into what works for Montage and what the students respond best to.
I think my background helps because I have three younger siblings, one of them is 10 years younger than me, I think this has helped when volunteering as they are in age group of the kids I’m usually working with. Having my siblings also means that when they have a lot of fun at a class they can tell me what they really enjoyed and I can then make sure the kids I’m working with enjoy what I’m doing with them.
As a volunteer I get a lot of support from Montage in all kinds of ways. They always have open doors for me to come and talk to them about anything I need help with whether it be school related or something to do with the charity.
Words by Gina Rowland