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Mariah's Volunteer Story
My name is Mariah and I am 21 years old. I recently completed my degree in Drama and have a passion for directing and being involved in performance. Last summer I really wanted to use my time wisely and decided to volunteer. I wanted to use my skills and knowledge within drama and performance to create a piece of work with others.
I volunteered with NHSCT Base in Magherafelt, which I found out about through Mid Ulster Volunteer Centre. My role was linked with two other volunteers and the service users in order to create a performance piece for the Take 5 Well-being Gala held in the Burnavon.
Volunteering really helped me to mature actually. I created new friendships, knowledge, skills, and better confidence within myself and also encouraged me to have confidence in the skills my degree was giving me. Also, the staff and service users encouraged me to push myself further each time we met without realising it.
Volunteering for The Base and helping with the performance was rewarding and challenging as we explored and pushed what we could do, rather than what couldn’t be done. It was brilliant.
A specific challenge I noticed through volunteering was being able to cater for everyone’s needs. However, this challenge was easily overcome as the process moved forward and we all learnt a bit more about each other.
Every day with the guys from The Base is memorable but there are several moments that were very special. The first was the second week of volunteering, we all had met the week before where the awkwardness and formalities had already been dealt with. The second week was just so much fun, there was a great atmosphere, plenty of laughs and we were all just chatting about what will we do, just like a bunch of friends.
For me, the first five minutes of every week we’re extremely special because we all just felt so much joy to see everyone again after a long week and it was a great chance to catch up.
The most special memory for me was the night of the performance. Everyone waiting to go on and the buzz in the back room of the Burnavon was amazing. Then seeing everyone on stage performing and showing off all their hard work that had been putting in. But the icing on the cake was seeing the faces of the performers when they had finished their final part of the song and the audience were clapping and cheering. We all just wanted to do it over again.
If anyone was thinking about volunteering, I would say YES! YES! YES! Absolutely do it, some of the best memories of my life.