Story by Susie Dufort | Photograph by Marek Payne
On 8th July the sun blazed down on Abbeyfield Park. Sixteen adults including Local Councillor Talib Hussain, and four children attended the event, organised by Mia Tennant (Volunteer Coordinator) and Shuna Beckett (Outreach and Training Coordinator).
Mia told me:
“We’re organising volunteer events twice a year to celebrate our volunteers and to thank them for all their contributions to the Messenger. It’s also a good opportunity for our volunteers to socialise, get to know each other and enjoy feeling part of a team.”
A new volunteer myself, I was warmly invited to join in with games and a delicious shared meal. Laura, a volunteer of Bajan (Barbados) heritage and Ana Maria Monsalve, a Colombian post-graduate urban planning student, discussed their respective recipes for plantain fritters. Volunteers were asked to give feedback on their experiences with the Messenger and ideas for future articles were invited from all including passers-by.
At the end of the afternoon, awards were given to all volunteers in recognition of their contribution to the Messenger. John Mellor, awarded the ‘Longevity Award’ after 9 years of volunteering, said with a smile, “I’m part of the establishment, really!”
Anyone interested in volunteering is invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our much-admired Community Journalism training course for new and potential volunteers will also be running on Thursdays 7th, 14th, 21st of September in Burngreave Library’s Carwood Suite. There will also be a celebration session on Tuesday 26th September. The course covers interviewing, writing and photography skills. To enrol please email email@example.com or call the office on 0114 242 0564.