As a previous volunteer, Marie Brasnett introduced York Cares to the Principal and founder, Ian Pryer, when she joined his firm of York Solicitors over two years ago. Ian was already a huge supporter of giving something back to the community and so readily embraced the concept, which has resulted in 15% of his workforce currently volunteering their services to York Cares projects. Solicitor, Alex McKnight commented on his first voluntary project‘ in 2008, ‘this is the most selfless act I’ve done in the last 35 years!’
The Right to Read scheme appealed to Office Manager Marie and Solicitor Anna Renfree, as both are avid readers and keen for the opportunity to encourage primary children to enjoy the benefits of reading.
Local primary schools are on the receiving end of the ongoing one hourly sessions and have benefited hugely from the experience of having Marie and Anna as their mentors.
In their own words:
Anna –Being a volunteer on the scheme gives the children an opportunity for one2one time with an adult, which they seem to respond well to and it’s so rewarding to see their enthusiasm grow. Reading is both a skill and a pleasure that will open so many doors for them, so I think it’s hugely important to encourage youngsters to want to read from a young age, not just in the classroom, but at home too. I would definitely want to volunteer again.
Marie – I enjoy the whole experience of volunteering and working with the children to help them achieve. It’s so rewarding to know we’re making a difference, especially as you can see the improvement in their reading as the year goes on. Volunteering is beneficial for me too, as reading with the children is a worthwhile respite that enables me to return to work with a clear mind after only an hour away! Volunteering is so easy with York Cares and it’s definitely an enriching experience.