'Passionate' young volunteer wins national award for work at Rugby children's centre - The Rugby Observer
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11th Aug, 2022

'Passionate' young volunteer wins national award for work at Rugby children's centre

A ‘PASSIONATE’ young Rugby volunteer working at children’s charity Barnardo’s has won a national award for her commitment to supporting children and families.

Jessica Forbes, 22, who has been working at the Rugby Children and Family Centre for 18 months, has been awarded a Marsh Trust Award – which recognise people at the heart of the charity sector who go above and beyond to make a difference to social, cultural and environmental causes.

Jessica has been helping with the centre’s weekly outdoor Stay and Play sessions – often arriving with resources that she has made at home, to build on the children’s learning and interests.

She has also helped with administrative tasks including the organisation of New Birth Packs for distribution, and helping out in the clothes bank sorting out donated items.

Jessica is now studying for her Postgraduate Certificate in Education at Warwick University – but still finds time to come back and support Barnardo’s during the school holidays.

She said: “Choosing to volunteer with Barnardo’s is possibly one of the best decisions I have ever made, it doesn’t even feel like volunteering as I am really made to feel like part of the team.

“I love that no matter how small the task may seem, everyone is so grateful for your support.”

Also grateful is Barnardo’s Volunteer Coordinator Nicola Sharpe.

She said: “Jessica always arrives with a smile on her face and gets stuck in straight away. She is passionate about working with children and has been a great asset to our outdoor sessions.

“She engages with all of the children, encouraging them to explore the activities on offer. She is equally confident to chat to parents and has quickly picked up on all of the things that we offer at the centre and signposts parents to relevant services for their needs.

“Jessica is happy to get stuck in and doesn’t shy away from doing the more mundane tasks either, such as cleaning out the paint pots.

“We’re not surprised to hear Jessica is making quite an impression on the schools she has placements in as part of her university course. Her current school placement are very proud of her and we know she will be an amazing teacher.

“She takes with her a sound knowledge of children’s services, early intervention and striving for positive outcomes and we are so pleased we have been part of that journey.”

Contact Nicola at nicola.sharpe@barnardos.org.uk to find out more about volunteering with Rugby Children and Family Centres.

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