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Gemserv believes in ‘profit with purpose’; the belief that businesses have an increasingly important role to play in creating positive social impact in the world. As a part of this, Gemserv gives employees the opportunity to take a volunteer day once a year, to learn and develop new skills whilst giving back to local communities.

Eve Marriner works in our Key Accounts department as a Governance Consultant and recently shared with us an account of her volunteer day this year at a primary school…

“The day had arrived and, rather than my usual office commute, I enthusiastically and bravely set off to spend a day entertaining, helping and teaching the youth of tomorrow (darlings/little monsters of today!) at Holy Trinity CE Primary School in Sunningdale, Berkshire. I would be working with the Reception Class (30 four-year-olds) in the morning and the Year One class (30 five-year-olds) in the afternoon.

I started off the day drawing and painting Harvest Festival scenes for the class to colour in and decorate. I also covered plastic letters with shaving foam for another activity. Within five minutes of arriving, the children, table and my jumper were all coated in both the paint and shaving foam. On the bright side, the children seemed to be able to recognise my drawing of a red hen and enjoyed being creative with the different materials. Whilst we waited for everyone to arrive, I set up some picture matching games, which encouraged the children to use their visual senses and memory skills.

Once the whole class was present, we began some basic writing practice, both with our fingers in the air and on individual white boards (the black marker pens staining their once-crisp white shirts within minutes… sorry parents!). There were some tears but also some successes, particularly when we moved onto phonetic letter practice. We played a few interactive word games with a dancing pirate, before splitting the class up to either have a healthy snack and read, or play outside and complete some counting practice. I set up number games using counting cubes and number cards, using creative ways to prevent counting to number ten becoming boring.

For the next activity, I took a group of four children to do some gardening, digging holes for some small plants to be embedded in. This was successful and enjoyable once we had squeezed the gloves on. Finally, before lunch, it was time for the class to receive their flu jabs (in the form of nasal spray), which required a lot of organisation.

After lunch, I moved to the Year One class. We started off with handwriting practice, before attempting a science lesson. The aim was to test different types of paper in water and learn how covering a piece of paper in crayon would help it to float once folded into a boat shape. Organising this proved quite a challenge, including one boy being sick twice. Nonetheless, a few key science lessons were definitely learnt! After outside play we (largely) managed to seat the class on the carpet while I read them a story.

Overall, the day was chaotic, enjoyable, and insightful. It was great to have this opportunity and I would highly recommend volunteering in a primary school if you have the enthusiasm and stomach; I imagine most schools would welcome the extra help, particularly when a holiday break is looming!”

 

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