Volunteer of the Month
This month’s volunteer of the month is Josh Gale, our Volunteer Coordinator. We had a chat with him to hear about his thoughts on Spectrum and the things he enjoys about his role there.
Why did you join Spectrum?
I joined Spectrum as a Volunteer in September 2021. Prior to this I had been coaching hockey to children with SEND with Jade’s mum (Emma). I absolutely loved it, it was my favourite hour of the week and I felt very passionate about helping to provide opportunities for people with learning disabilities. When Spectrum’s in-person classes restarted in September 2021 after the pandemic, Emma recommended that I volunteer with Spectrum as she thought I would really enjoy it. I had never really done performing arts or dance before, so I wasn’t entirely sure of what to expect, but I had so much fun in the first class I attended and immediately I could see what a positive space Spectrum was for the participants. So, after that first session, I was very keen to be a regular volunteer in the classes and knew for certain that Spectrum was something I wanted to be a part of.
What does your role entail?
My role as volunteer coordinator has a few different duties. I’m a point of contact for all our volunteers if they have any questions, concerns or need support with anything whilst volunteering with Spectrum. I’m responsible for making sure we always have enough volunteers in our weekly classes and finding cover if we have any absences. I also handle the communication and correspondence with our volunteers about upcoming events, training opportunities and fundraising activities. And a big part of my role is onboarding new volunteers which involves interviewing new applicants, completing DBS checks and delivering inductions.
What sessions do you help out at?
I volunteer in Spectrum Beats, Spectrum Songs, Junior Movers, Adult Movers, Mini Sensory Movers, Sensory Movers, Sensory Performers and Performing Arts Club.
What do you love about working at Spectrum?
There are so many things I love about working at Spectrum- the list is endless. I love that Spectrum and all its volunteers make a real difference in the lives of our participants. It’s amazing to help provide a safe space for our participants where they are free to be themselves, have fun, build confidence, and make friends. I love how friendly, kind and passionate all our volunteers are. And I love my job as volunteer coordinator. It’s great meeting new people in the interviews and being able to tell them about the amazing opportunities Spectrum provides and share why I love volunteering with Spectrum. I also really enjoy being part of Spectrums ‘behind the scenes’ team as I always feel supported and valued and everyone is super helpful.
What Spectrum events/projects have you enjoyed?
Two highlights for me have been the Jungle Workshop and Summer Showcase. It was so much fun turning a classroom into a Sensory Jungle. It looked so cool and the participants had so much fun exploring the space throughout the sensory story. And the Summer Showcase was amazing! So much hard work from our participants, volunteers, facilitators and ‘behind the scenes’ team went into it and it all paid off as all 50 performers that came on the day went on stage and performed. For so many of the performers it was their first time being on a stage and they absolutely smashed it. It was such an awesome day!
What upcoming projects are you looking forward to doing?
I’m really looking forward to our upcoming Summer Camp. It’ll be great to meet to some new participants and help them to lots of fun.