What volunteering means to me

28 February 2017

Lauren Birney is a 4th year student studying Primary Education and Modern Languages at Stirling University andvolunteers at local the Boys’ Brigade. She shared her story as part of Student Volunteers Week 2017. 

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I grew up attending my local Girls Brigade and once I was old enough I began to volunteer within the youngest section. I moved to Stirling in 2012 for university and after a year of living here I realised I missed having the opportunity to volunteer with children outside of a school context! That’s when I had a look for local Girls’ and Boys’ Brigades and found the 4th Stirling BB, a relatively new and growing company looking for more people to help out!

Over the past 4 years, I have had a wonderful experience volunteering with the 4th Stirling Boys’ Brigade. As the team of volunteers have grown and changed it has been lovely to get the opportunity to work with a variety of people and provide a way out of the ‘student bubble’ it is so tempting to stay in while at university.

LaurenWorking with Boys’ Brigade has equipped me with valuable skills through training but also through the week to week planning for Friday nights! Although we work collaboratively as a team, I mainly work with the Anchor Boys, the youngest section for Boys in Primary 1 to 3. We meet for an hour every Friday night and our evening is usually jam-packed with games, crafts, snacks and a Bible story.

It has been so wonderful to see the numbers grow over the years, this September we started with 4 Boys and now we have 17 signed up to come on Friday evening! It has been incredibly rewarding to see the boys enjoy themselves so much each week, so much so that our increase in numbers has been, without a doubt, down to the boys telling their friends and inviting them along!

Boys’ Brigade provides a valuable experience for the boys to relax at the end of the week with their friends but also gives them a wider perspective on life and equips them with skills that will help them succeed in all areas of life. As I move away from Stirling at the end of this academic year I will be incredibly sorry to say goodbye to the 4th Stirling Boys’ Brigade!

This volunteer story was originally submitted to Student Volunteering Week's website as part of Student Volunteering Week 2017, available here.

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