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Inspiring young people to build a confident future

A volunteer’s experience

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My first encounter with Bridges Project was on a school visit in 2013 when I was part of a pupil charity fundraising group at Knox Academy in Haddington.  After finding out about all the inspiring work this organisation does to support young people, I knew that one day I would want to come back myself and volunteer with them.  I started my volunteering placement here at the start of June 2016, during the summer break from my university studies in Glasgow, and finished up at the end of August.  The time has flown by and after two and a half months it is time to return to Glasgow to finish my degree in psychology.  I have met such kind and talented young people and have been working with them and my supervisor Sandie in small groups, facilitating activities such as art, cooking and debate.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working in the group programme.  The groups rarely have more more than six people which is great as you get to know those you are working with so much better!

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I especially enjoyed cooking with the young people.  Bridges Project has excellent facilities which I could see the young people really appreciate and respect.  Plus, no dish was too difficult; we have cooked complex fare like hot beef coconut curry and Thai fish soup which was very adventurous and delicious!  We have also rustled up some equally tasty yet classic dishes such as chicken pie and macaroni!

Not only has the volunteering itself been brilliant but the staff here have made me feel so welcome and at ease when working with young people, I am very thankful to them all for their support over the summer, I have learnt so much from them!  I also enjoyed my short stint as administrative assistant and have become the unofficial queen of the guillotine and laminator!  Getting good quality work experience at the same time as volunteering has been very useful indeed.

My whole experience at Bridges Project has been eye opening and has left me considering some potential new career pathways.  So, if you are considering volunteering in East Lothian with young people I would highly recommend this organisation.

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