Volunteer Story – Colin, Life Skills

Colin started volunteering with the Genesis Trust in 2011 soon after retiring.  He told us “I was looking for opportunities to do something interesting and useful” and originally responded to a call for help teaching literacy and numeracy through our Life Skills project.

Colin had worked as an English teacher and quickly started supporting a client who needed help with writing but who also lacked confidence.  Through his work with this particular client he also started attending our Making Sense of Faith group.  Colin enjoyed the “open and welcoming atmosphere” and told us how it “helped my own faith to grow”.

More recently Colin has supported a Life Skills writing group which is where he spent most of his volunteering hours before COVID-19.  Colin told us “as a retired person I am really in the vulnerable group, so have found the epidemic unnerving and worrying.  It would be a worry at the moment to go back to meeting in person”.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we have been running a variety of online activities for our Life Skills clients.  Colin has very kindly put together some poetry materials for our Life Skills Facilitator to share with the group.

Colin told us he enjoyed putting the course together but the group is run via the Facebook platform and he currently doesn’t have an account so hasn’t been able to see how clients have responded.

Our Life Skills Facilitator has reported that Haiku and Acrostic poems have been the most popular through the course and it has been clear that many people have used these poems as a way of expressing their feelings around the pandemic.  Clients have also had great fun working out the answers to riddles.