When I first moved to Thirsk, I found Thirsk Community Care hidden down an alleyway. I got a great welcome from Gill when I said I was looking for paid and voluntary work with children. I soon started working as a volunteer with a young man who I would take to town on a Saturday morning, giving his parents time to go swimming with his siblings and catch up on house work. I also became a play worker at the school holiday play schemes for children with a wide range of disabilities and additional needs. I soon ended up coordinating the Oaks play scheme, introducing lots of new activities, especially art activities, and bringing in specialists to provide sport, music and dance sessions. This in turn led to working in the office, coordinating all our childrens services.
I have fully enjoyed this experience – no two days are the same. There have been highlights such as carrying out art workshops with the children, and lows when logistics don’t always go to plan. Every day has been busy and the end results of providing safe and fun support for the children as well as much-needed respite for parents and carers means all frustrations are worth it.
I have had the pleasure of getting to know so many amazing children as well as working with committed and enthusiastic staff and volunteers. Thank you for all your support.
I am now exploring my interest in art by going to study for an MA at Leeds Arts University in September and I hope this qualification can be combined with the experiences I have gained at Thirsk Community Care to lead to future employment such as Community Art projects. I am pleased that my replacement, Jon Ptolomey, seems just as keen to ensure the children’s projects run smoothly, and to provide the best service possible for the children and families. I wish him good luck.
I will continue to work in the office on reduced hours in my role of interim Operational manager.