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It doesn't take an expert

A coach guides a young athlete in the javelin

Academy Parent spoke to Daisy Redman, a 47-year-old mother of two from west London who has over 14 years of volunteering experience.

  • I first volunteered when my son started attending cubs scouts. I wanted to help out doing something that my son enjoyed, so I started going camping with all the scouts, helping putting up tents and the cooking, generally making sure the kids were safe.

  • You find a lot of parents just drop their kids off at clubs and turn up a couple of hours later to pick them up. They don't really want to know what's going on behind the scenes, maybe I was just a nosy parent!

  • I have definitely learnt a lot, plus I have done things I thought I would never ever do in my life. For example, recently I had to do map reading for my Duke of Edinburgh award.

  • One of the tasks I had to do was go on a 15km walk in the middle of nowhere with only a map for company. That's something I never imagined myself doing, but now I know I can survive and live to tell the tale.

  • You get a terrific sense of accomplishment to have achieved something like that. It's also great for kids because they can see someone like me doing this and think, 'well I can do that too'.

  • Instead of driving off after dropping your kids off, go in and see if you can help out. Even the little things make a huge difference.

  • Sometimes parents don't get involved because they think the people running the clubs are experts, but a few years ago the so-called experts were in exactly the same position as the parents, everyone has to start somewhere.

  • I get so much enjoyment from what I do. A lot of young people have negative thoughts about doing certain activities, but it gives me a great feeling to see them achieving things they thought they could never do.

    Daisy was introduced to volunteering through the British Sports Trust's Sports Leader Awards. For more information click on the link on the right hand side of this page.

  • The kids get a positive interaction with other children from all backgrounds. As well as enjoying a healthy lifestyle.
    - C Wood, swimming coach


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