How helping out allowed Sally to fly
Sally Robinson had to be persuaded to help out The Addy, an adventure playground in a former mining town in West Yorkshire that provides fun and friendship to people of all ages. But now, less than 3 years later, the 27-year-old admits her life has been profoundly changed by her decision to become a volunteer.
Sally said, “I was having a tough time. I’d struggled to get qualifications after leaving school and felt I had no direction or motivation. I wasn’t getting out of bed some days and my mum was really worried about me.”
She finally summoned the courage to try volunteering at the National Lottery-funded playground in Knottingley in March 2018. Her first job was painting a series of colourful murals on its walls. It was an overwhelming experience at first – “I remember bursting into tears when I got home” – but the experience has completely changed her life.
She said, “They [the team at The Addy] are like a second family now. It’s become part of my life and an important part of my wellbeing.”
The importance of people lending a helping hand – particularly in these difficult times – is recognised by the Miss Out to Help Out campaign. A partnership between The National Lottery and ITV, it encourages people to miss out on their favourite TV show and use the time to help others in their local community.
The fact is, small acts of kindness can make a big difference. Helping a neighbour or a family friend doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but even the smallest offer of help can make a huge difference.
There are so many ways you can use your time to make a difference to help others, keep communities connected and reach those who need the most help. Thanks to National Lottery funding, volunteers are able to step up to support people and communities through these difficult times.
After creating several murals Sally was offered a paid position at The Addy running an intergenerational group called Wild Tots and Friends. It brings young children and elderly people together to cook, sing and simply have fun.
But helping out has made such a profound impact on Sally’s life that she continues to volunteer at the playground.
She said, “I’ve learned so much. The kids can be quite challenging – we’re located on quite a difficult estate and there’s some difficult behaviour – but my confidence has grown as a result. I’ve learned how to hold myself and talk to people. It’s given me a whole new life.”
It doesn’t matter how much time you give or what you do, get involved. Go to missouttohelpout.com to see how you could ‘Miss Out to Help Out’, for top tips, inspirational stories and volunteering opportunities to make a difference now.
14th November 2020
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