Monday, 5 August 2013

Volunteer Cheer!

Group photo - KUSU Volunteers and Kingston Young Carers!
Hi I’m Danielle and I have just completed my 3rd year at Kingston University where I studied BA (Hons) Drama. On the 29th May I volunteered my time and experience in leading a two hour Cheerleading fun session for 16 children from Kingston Young Carers. The fun session was an introduction to cheerleading. With the help of four other student volunteers from the KUSU Cheerleading Club, we taught the children various skills of cheerleading, including stunts, motions, jumps and dance. It took place at the dance studio in the gym at Penrhyn Road campus. The venue was brilliant because it was perfect in size and had appropriate facilities such as mirrors and mats that we needed to run the session.

For the project I led and co-ordinated the fun session with help and support from Jemma Houghton the Volunteer Co-ordinator at KUSU. Tasks I undertook included devising the session plan, completing a risk assessment, buying refreshments, sourcing ‘winner’ medals to give out to the children, creating certificates and recruiting volunteers to help me run the session.

As I am a qualified cheerleading coach I already have a passion for teaching cheerleading to children; it’s often something new they haven’t come across before and which they get particularly excited about - especially when pom poms are involved!

Why did I run this volunteering project? Well last year another member of the KUSU Cheerleading Club (who has since graduated) ran a Cheerleading fun session for Kingston Young Carers, which I helped out with and enjoyed immensely; the young carers all finished the session with huge smiles and said how much fun they had. This inspired me to get involved and lead a similar project this year.

Kingston Young Carers show off their new stunt skills!
The best part of the project for me was seeing how quickly the children picked up the cheerleading skills. We were able to teach higher skills than planed and they were all really proud of achieving something they didn’t think they could do.

I would recommend a volunteer project like this to anyone! It’s incredibly rewarding, the children are so grateful for the session and leave with a massive smile on their face. It’s a project that has aided my coaching work as it has increased my experience of working with a different group of children and is something I can put on my CV.

I wish I’d done more with KUSU Volunteering - the staff are very helpful and will support you with whatever volunteering you want to do. From Student-Led Volunteering like I did or other opportunities, there’s lots you can get involved with to make a difference and add something different to your CV to make you stand out to employers. Get involved - you won’t regret it. 

Check out more of the cheerleading photos!

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