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Tuesday 2 October 2012

A message from another ex-volunteer, Sally Fung

This summer’s Olympic Games were such a success thanks in a large part to thousands of people who gave up their time and volunteered to do all manner of jobs. The volunteers that I saw in London were brilliant and they really made sure everyone had a wonderful time.  I’m sure that they made many friends and learned a few new skills. What have the Olympic Games to do with the Egypt Centre I can hear you ask? The answer is, they both need volunteers.
The Egypt Centre runs a well organised volunteer programme of which I was lucky enough to be a part of. I hadn’t worked for eight years as I had been a stay-at-home mum and I needed to get back to at least part time, if not full time work. Unfortunately being off work for such a long time had left me very unconfident. I also did not have any recent references I could put down if I applied for work and no recent experience.  I was looking for volunteering opportunities and through County of Swansea’s, Swansea Council Volunteer Service, I found that the Egypt Centre needed people. 
I started in March 2010 as an Education Assistant. I didn’t know anything about ancient Egypt when I started, nor had I had much experience at working with school parties, but I had support from the staff, both paid and other volunteers, and I soon began to feel my confidence return, so much so I trained as an Educational Leader.  With the training, the different Master Classes and my own study I soon learned new skills, such as dealing with groups of people of various ages, talking to people about the Collection, making resources, and developing a passion for ancient history, as well as having a lot of fun and making very good friends. I went on to help and then lead the holiday workshops for children. It was through my volunteering with the Egypt Centre that I decided I would like to retrain and do educational work with children. I studied at FE College and attained a Diploma in Teaching Assistant work. This summer I applied for a job in a Primary school as a Teaching Assistant and thanks to my volunteering at the Egypt Centre, and the help I received from the staff, I am now fully employed in a school as a Teaching Assistant helping children who struggle with Literacy and Numeracy.  It is a job that I love doing. 
So if you can give up a few hours a week to volunteer I would encourage you to do so. You could learn valuable transferrable skills that employers are looking for, experience at working in the Heritage/Education Sector, and make some really good friends.  I am so glad that I took the time and volunteered.

If you want to know more about adult volunteering at the Egypt Centre click here.

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