Sunflower Garden - A Volunteer's Story

Moira discusses her role as a Taxi Buddy...

"I’ve always been interested in helping and caring for other people and especially children, right from when I was a girl. As a result, although my paid work was in administration and finance I have always worked with children in some way, often through Sunday school and bible classes.

"I like getting children to feel happy and at ease and I enjoy building up relationships with them. I think because I was brought up in a stable family I know how important that is. I really want to provide that sort of stability and give it to people who may not have it; in that way they get the chance to see another way of living. I think this is one way of reaching out to children in a very simple way; just by giving them a sense of security.

"My volunteering at Simpson House has been about looking after children in the crèche when their parents are here to use the services, or being an escort for children to get them here safely for activities. Really my job is about making sure that they are safe and ultimately that they are safely delivered back to their parent or carer, so it’s important for me to be reliable and trustworthy.

"I suppose you can see me as being part of the package of support that the children receive here, giving them a good experience right from the point that they are picked up from home or school to when they are dropped back again.

"For me, escorting children is a time of interaction, not just of sitting quietly, and I like building up a rapport with the children I see. I find that the way in is to be a good listener and to get onto their wavelength, remembering things that are important to them or that they have mentioned from one week to the next. I know that there are possibilities of challenging behaviour but I’ve not had any problems. Even if that happened, having patience and not overreacting would both be important. I know well enough to look for distractions to find a way around children; it’s like a loving discipline.

"I would do here more if I had the time as the work here is so satisfying and such a worthwhile thing to do. I can’t really choose you a favourite moment from my time here as all of them are best moments because I just love what I’m doing."

Sunflower

"I suppose you could say I have a softer feeling towards the children I meet here because I know they have difficulties. I have to say that in the time I’ve been involved I’ve really grown fond of them and respect them a lot."