I am seventeen years old and am currently studying Art and Design at North Notts College. My hobbies include singing, painting and drawing and, most of all, I love spending time with my pets at home. I recently volunteered at the Mencap Easter event at Clumber Park near Worksop, Nottinghamshire.
I wanted to volunteer because my mum works for Mencap and I thought it would be a really nice opportunity to gain some work experience, and to get involved in something that I have never done before. I am deaf and have a mild learning disability myself, and I felt that it would be good to meet people like me.
On the day I helped my mum to load all the Easter eggs into the car. We arrived at the park and shortly afterwards were joined by an enormous Easter bunny which was hilarious, along with all the other helpers. We unloaded the eggs and stuff and carried it down to the lake where the event was being held. Although, we had to go and ask for a wheelbarrow because there was so much stuff to carry!
We set up the tables ready for the crafts, refreshments and raffle. We arranged the eggs on the grass in front of a large tree which was decorated with eggs the people Mencap support had drawn. We put up banners and borrowed some nearby benches, which were really, really heavy and we must have looked very funny and very suspicious trying to move them! We then went to throw some of the smaller eggs around for the egg hunt. That was fun but I had to be careful that I didn’t step on any and squash them!
My role on the day was to help set up for the event and look after people with a learning disability when they arrived. I helped the guests to choose what Easter egg they wanted in exchange for the eggs they had found in the hunt. It was really nice to mix with them and to see the smiles on their faces as they collected the eggs. This was amazing.
I loved watching them as they did the egg race – everyone was really happy and full of laughter and just having fun.
I was asked to choose the winning name for the bunny rabbit toy that everyone had to guess. Jeremy got the name right (Ziggy) and was the winner. I named the bunny Ziggy because this is the name of my dog, it was really hard to pick just one name from the chart but it was good fun.
I helped with the crafts, painting hard boiled eggs and making headbands. The people that Mencap support got a lot out of the day having fun and enjoying themselves and taking lots of chocolate home! The weather could have been better but we made our own sunshine anyway.
When the day was over, I helped to tidy up. There was a lot of mess such as bits of colourful pieces of paper and paper plates and cups etc. It looked like Rainbow Land with all the leftover colours! But it was all worth it! I thoroughly enjoyed the day. I was able to meet the Mencap team and learnt more about what they do and to be able to talk to some of the people they support was great.
I am extremely grateful that I was able to be a part of the day! I had a fantastic time and It was such a rewarding experience and I can’t WAIT to get involved with the next event.