Volunteers’ Week 2023 – Q&A with Sara

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The 1-7 June is Volunteers’ Week! The Aloud Charity relies on our team of committed Community Leaders who support the delivery of our choirs across Wales. 

Our Community Leader Sara Jones tells us what volunteering for The Aloud Charity means to her: 

Why I Volunteer for Aloud

“I decided to volunteer as my son is involved in Only Boys Aloud and I see the joy he gets from being part of it, the confidence and friendships he’s gained, and the amazing opportunities he has access to.

It has also given him a significant health boost. He’s had a couple of intensive care stays due to his serious asthma but singing in the choir and learning about correct posture and breathing has significantly helped and he doesn’t even realise he is undergoing a form of therapy.

I was also conscious that most of this is funded through The Aloud Charity and its kind members/fundraisers  and felt that I could give something back to the organisation by volunteering my time and support. I knew that I would be well supported and have an opportunity to use skills I had already whilst developing new ones.”

What being a Volunteer involves

“For me, it’s about supporting the staff and Choir Leaders to make sure the participants are safe, comfortable, and happy.

It could be anything from checking young people on and off the transport, waiting to make sure there is someone to pick them up, keeping parents and staff updated on arrival times through to making sure they stay hydrated, have access to music scores if needed, and that conversations are appropriate for the age groups.

I  spend time talking to individuals; if they’ve had a tough day at school and come straight to rehearsals, they know there is someone there who will listen.

Is being a Volunteer rewarding?

“Absolutely, yes.

Not only do you get lots of sneak peaks of rehearsals and new songs – which is always a joy – you get to be part of something very special. When you are waiting back stage with the boys, the excitement and buzz is infectious and you can’t help being drawn into it along with the day-to-day chatter and jokes.

Watching friendships develop between the boys is one thing, seeing them grow with confidence and performing on stage with that new found confidence is something else. Over the years I seen very shy boys come in and grow into confident, happy young men – it really is a transformation.

The skills that both my son and all the other young men have gained from OBA just doesn’t stop at singing and performing, they learn about diction, reading music, rhythm, but also life skills like being presentable, respectful, kind and caring all in an informal fun way.”

Are you supported as a Volunteer?

100%  – there’s brilliant communication to/from and between Volunteers and there’s no expectation that you have to volunteer for absolutely everything. The team at Aloud do understand that people have other commitments too!

When you are Volunteering you are treated with respect from all staff and the boys alike and are very much welcomed as part of the OBA Family. There is always a staff member in reach if I have any concerns or questions and you always get a thank you which is really nice and appreciated.

Skills needed to be a Volunteer

“There is not a specific set of skills needed to be a volunteer and in fact each volunteer has different skills which makes for great team working.

It’s important that a volunteer can be organised and able to identify when the boys need support – some may not raise their hand if they’ve lost their way on their music score.

A volunteer needs to be kind and respectful to the boys/staff and anyone else.

Are there any downsides to being a Volunteer?

Yes! You know the words to every song! And you often have an earworm for days after you have been somewhere with Boys!!

If you’d like to volunteer with Aloud find out how you can get involved here.

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