Clementina’s story

Clementina volunteers at our Community Literacy Labs at Hollydale Primary School, Southwark, and The Abbey Centre, Westminster. She explains what motivates her.

Why did you want to volunteer?
I am a big believer in showing every child they matter. Spending half an hour a week with a child tells them that they are important. It’s a special time.

What’s the best thing about volunteering?
Sometimes children’s behaviour can be challenging. The best thing has been seeing some of the most challenging children improving their interpersonal skills. There is one child who used to be very disruptive – probably as a way of getting attention. However, in the last few weeks there’s been a big improvement. He especially likes a board game we play where you have to get a car out of a maze. It’s a very logical game and takes concentration to find the solution. It’s really helped him to focus, and finding the solution gives him a sense of achievement.

What has surprised you most about volunteering?
How intelligent some of the children are!

What qualities do you think a volunteer needs?
Patience and compassion. I also believe it is important to be able to set boundaries and be firm.

What was your favourite book as a child and why?
I do not have just one… If I’m honest my favourite books as a child were all my science and history school books! They were full of very interesting facts and pictures and explained so much about the world around me, I found them fascinating.