Celebrating Volunteers Week 2021

02 Jun 2021

To celebrate Volunteers Week 2021 we would like to thank all the volunteers who volunteer on the Words for Work programme. Words for Work engages volunteers from the business community to support students to understand the real life application of literacy in the workplace.

We highlight two volunteers’ experiences volunteering on the Words for Work programmes.

Elfi Brettklieber-Taye, Director and Plan Manager at Campact Ltd.

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What project were you volunteering on and briefly what did you do?

St. Alphonsus Primary School’s Dream Big Q&A. It started by briefly talking about my own journey from being inspired by a book when I was about 7 years old, which was the starting point for a successful career. The most enjoyable part was answering many smart questions during the session.

What made you want to volunteer with the National Literacy Trust?

Books and stories have been important companions all my life and the work the National Literacy Trust is delivering, is motivating, worthy and incredibly important.

In your opinion, why is volunteering so important?

I think it’s important that kids at young age encounter many different, inspiring, encouraging and supportive people along their journey so they find a little spark within themselves that will allow them to take one confident step after another in their lives.

What would you say to other people thinking about volunteering on a project with the National Literacy Trust?

Don’t hesitate to join! The kids showed a lot of energy and curiosity – it could even be felt in the virtual setup! It’s a buzzing feeling to see the potential in all the little stars, who will make an impact one day if their ideas keep on being reinforced in a positive way.

Why do you think it's important to raise awareness of the importance of literacy?

Words shape how we experience the world and how we ultimately enjoy our life.

What have you gained from volunteering?

This particular session was truly humbling! The teacher deserves a big compliment and I loved the letters the kids wrote afterwards. It was one of those days where I thought I was asked for a favour only to find out I was actually given one!

Devna Devang Chauhan, Applied Controls – Technical Leader at Cummins Inc.

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What project were you volunteering on and briefly what did you do?

Dream Big Project – I volunteered in a Q&A with pupils from Thorntree Primary Academy and St. Alphonsus Primary. I answered the questions from pupils regrading my career.

What made you want to volunteer with the National Literacy Trust?

I am a STEM ambassador and when I saw this opportunity on our STEM learning portal.

In your opinion, why is volunteering so important?

I feel as responsible adults it is really important that we lead by example for the children and young adults of our society. This is only possible by us volunteering for activities that focus on encouraging children to dream big and that show them ways to define as well as achieve their career goals.

What would you say to other people thinking about volunteering on a project with the National Literacy Trust?

I would definitely encourage them to do so because my experience was very rewarding. The training and prep was very well organised. Also, it was wonderful to read the letters from children about their experience.

Why do you think it's important to raise awareness of the importance of literacy?

Literacy is not only important for achieving career goals but also to develop children into a generation of responsible adults. Literacy helps provide that base to understand, learn and apply knowledge in our day to day tasks. I believe a literate adult can evaluate every situation logically and make informed decisions for themselves as well as for the society.

What have you gained from volunteering?

It made me reflect on and appreciate various mentors and role models in my personal life who encouraged me and kept me interested in school through various levels of education.

If you would like to volunteer on Words for Work please click on ’register here’ under ‘Volunteers’ and fill out the online form.

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