Volunteering isn’t just about helping out at nursery or school – it’s what family members do when they go to events or meetings, giving up their time to work with or support the nursery or school. When parents volunteer in these ways, children and young people get a very clear message that their education is important and that their school life really matters. It is also very enjoyable and builds a closer school community, creating friendships and support networks that can last a lifetime.
Volunteering benefits everyone, especially children and young people. Parent Councils, schools and teachers can recruit and organise family and community support and can then recognise the contribution that volunteers make to the school community.
Tips for schools, teachers and parent groups to encourage volunteering
For example, schools, teachers and parent groups can
- conduct an annual survey via social media/postcards to identify available talents, skills and availability of parents
- invite parents to help in class, on school trips, in the library or at after-school clubs/activities
- create a family/community room for volunteer work, meetings, with resources for families
- organise a variety of social and fundraising events at different times to encourage parents to come to the school
- hold events or have a space on a website/Facebook page to recognise and thank volunteers.
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Volunteering means joining in. When children and young people see family members in their schools, they know they have family support for their school career. Being in school can mean going to a show or a school event, or it can mean helping with activities, projects and outings. Volunteering is a really powerful way of showing you care: it gives a strong message to your child and to the school. It is also a great way of building good relationships between families and school staff.
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