I am Eleanor Mayne, the daughter of English tutor; Claire Parkman. I have been volunteering at SML College since October 2017, when Steph Cracknell was coordinator. Initially I began volunteering as, being unemployed for just over two years, I needed to prepare myself for work again and keep my mind busy. The plan was to put my artistic talents to use with the students, however, it quickly became apparent that Steph required my administration skills. I waded into the filing systems and aided Steph in every way I could, eventually taking over from her for a short while once she had sadly left. With the sunny arrival of David Lilly, my assistance became a tool for introduction and familiarity, and I no longer needed to focus on the office.

Although I still help David, recent weeks have seen me creating in the art room with a couple of the students. The whole college participated in my mother’s production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’; in which I organised and partook in the scenery, costumes and props.  On the night of the performance, I also took on make-up to aid Claire. I changed my schedule from one day a week to three, and sometimes even four, in order to teach several students how to sew using the college machine. I was surprised at how quickly many of them took to it, and the team spirit that they shared. The entire experience with the play inspired me to put on more workshops for the future, should my personal situation be unchanged.

Volunteering at SML College has been an excellent choice for me, as it has given me back some of my confidence and has been a satisfying experience that I am invested in. The role I take on can be different each day, and I would love to stay permanently, but alas, an uncertain future awaits me.