Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Hayley helps make a difference

A VOLUNTEER at a youth club in Sonning Common has received an award.

A VOLUNTEER at a youth club in Sonning Common has received an award.

Hayley Parfitt, who works with children at Club SC, received a certificate of commendation at the Reading University Student Community Awards.

The awards, which are oganised by a committee of residents, students and university staff, recognise students for voluntary work they complete during their time at the university.

Miss Parfitt, 24, who has balanced volunteering at least one night a week with studying English Literature and Language at the university, said: “I was very touched and it’s very nice that my work was noticed.

“It’s been very good and definitely very rewarding. I would recommend anyone to get involved.

“All these things come with ups and downs but there’s been more ups than downs.”

Miss Parfitt, who was born and bred in the village and is a former pupil at Chiltern Edge School, said she got involved with the club to give something back to the community.

She helps supervise and support the children during activities and trips.

She said: “People are always eager to complain about young people hanging around but are not always eager to give them something to do.

“The youth club gives the kids something to do and somewhere to go. People who volunteer can get to know the kids. It’s really positive and the local police community support officer goes down to get to know the kids. They will say ‘hello’ to me in the street, which is nice and it builds a sense of community.”

Josh Beale-Fletcher, 21, vice-chairman of the club’s management committee, said Miss Parfitt was an “excellent volunteer”. He added: “During her time with us she has worked very closely with our youth leader Becky Jenkins in planning activities and events for the young people.

“She has also helped to ensure that the club remained a safe and enjoyable amenity for them.”

Ms Jenkins encourages final year students who are planning to embark on careers in which they deal with young people to gain experience as a volunteer.

The club is looking for more volunteers. Anyone wanting to get involved should contact Ms Jenkins on beckyclubsc@hotmail.co.uk

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