ACAMH Interview Blog 16.01.2018

“The chance to really support children” – life as a volunteer


The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) caught up with two of our Volunteer Counsellors - Ruth, a teacher at a secondary school, and Chris, a retired district nurse - to find out about their experiences with Place2Be.

Why did you first start volunteering with Place2Be?

Ruth: I was thinking about leaving teaching as I felt I didn’t have enough time to focus on the pastoral side of things. As a teacher there is a lot of pressure to be very target driven and it’s hard to focus on young people’s emotional needs. I decided to do a Masters in child and adolescent psychodynamic counselling and I did my placement at Place2Be.

Chris: Early on in my career as a district nurse I did a lot of work with adults who were dying and saw how that affected the children in the family. One child was dealing with the death of his father but had no one he could turn to for help. Many years later, when I heard about Place2be and their work with children I knew how helpful it could be. I did my placement at Place2Be as part of my counselling diploma and saw the real difference it made to children’s lives.

What has made you continue to volunteer all these years?

Ruth: I can’t believe it has been nearly 6 years – it has flown by! At first it was all a bit daunting as I hadn’t worked with primary school children before – all my experience was as a secondary school teacher. However the support from Place2Be and the school project managers was very reassuring. Seeing the children develop has been so rewarding.

Chris: It is such a reward to see the children become more confident. I have also developed my own skills as a result of working with children and I was able to use this during my time as a district nurse. Although I retired a few years ago, I have continued volunteering with Place2Be because it gives me the chance to really support children.

Read the full interview on ACAMH's website >>

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