Try volunteering with the NSPCC as your New Year resolution

New Year, New me. That’s what we all say. But instead of splashing out on gym memberships and stocking up on low-carb recipe books, why not try something new in 2020? Something that has an impact on the lives of real people, while giving you the warm fuzzy feeling you get from helping someone.

Monday, 6th January 2020, 4:00 pm
A volunteer driver is just one way people can help the NSPCC.
A volunteer driver is just one way people can help the NSPCC.

January has a strange way of making us feel refreshed, renewed, and ready to take on the world. Most people opt to learn new skills, or meet new people. Suddenly, we feel empowered to buy a ukulele and strum to our hearts content or try a wacky new hairstyle.

Regrettably, the ukulele will be back in its box by February, and the Mohican was perhaps a bit too bold. But there is a New Year’s Resolution which you can maintain, while also learning new skills and meeting new people. This year, why not have a resolution to end cruelty to children, by volunteering with the NSPCC.

Currently, one in every five children suffer from abuse or neglect in the UK. We need to change this, but we can’t do it without your help.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The wide range of opportunities provided by the NSPCC mean that you can volunteer based on whatever skills you have, or want to build. From administration to fundraising, driving to teaching; we’ve got volunteers across the country using their abilities to support our work.

The North East boasts some real heroes of NSPCC volunteering.

Jan Pallas, MBE, has volunteered as a fundraiser for 25 years, raising more than a million pounds for the NSPCC in the process. She was originally a businesswoman and a teacher, but channelled her experience into becoming one of the NSPCC’s top fundraisers.

When asked why she began fundraising, she spoke about seeing her students in abusive situations, and wanting to do something about it. “Having been a teacher and been in some desperately difficult areas and schools, it is shocking,” she said.

Jan says she is motivated by “The determination, the want, the need to see cruelty stop.”

Meanwhile, Sarah Jane Phelps volunteers by visiting schools in the North East and leading ‘Speak out. Stay safe.’ assemblies. These involve teaching primary school children how to recognise abuse and neglect and empower them to speak out if they are worried about anything.

She says “I wanted to make a difference to the next generation and empower young people to have a voice. It has been so rewarding and while I have only been volunteering for a few months I have gotten so much out of it seeing the difference we make”

In the last academic year alone, the Tyne and Wear team have visited 85,652 children at 374 different schools in the region to teach them how important it is to speak up about abuse and neglect.

Cheryl Ellis, Schools Organiser for the North East, added: “It is both rewarding and fulfilling a – seeing the children listen and take in the important messages from ‘Speak out. Stay safe’ is brilliant.”

Even though there are so many different opportunities, every one of our volunteers has something in common; the goal to see an end to child cruelty.

Our work in seeing this goal through is only possible because of the passion and commitment of our volunteers. They have baked, cheered, organised events, and challenged themselves in extraordinary ways to raise money for our services. They have also given hours of their life every week, supporting our local services, speaking at our Speak out. Stay safe. assemblies, and showing up for every child who contacts Childline.

Aside from access to training and supervision, you’ll be able to know that the work you do is having a tangible effect on a child’s life. Nobody deserves to experience domestic abuse, and it’s up to all of us to help stop it.

It might just be the resolution you stick to after January – so why not go to www.nspcc.org.uk/what-you-can-do to find out more?