After attending a Volunteers’ Fair in Caterham I learnt about the Orpheus Centre and decided to make a visit. Whilst there I noticed the names and photos of 2 students (Laurie and Sally) who I had worked with in my past where I spent 26 years working as a teacher in the area of special educational needs. I had been directly involved with Sally and her family and I felt it would be wonderful to meet her again so one of the first things I did when I started at Orpheus was to introduce myself to Sally! 

That was in September 2015, and I now fulfil a learning support role in the classroom at Orpheus. I volunteer on a Monday afternoon from 2pm to 4.30pm which covers two lesson periods. I have worked with students in Music and Maths and am currently supporting in English classes. For one year I also became a friend to a student called Benjamin. I was able to come in half an hour earlier on Mondays to visit Benjamin and chat with him about what he had been doing during the week, hear about all his musical interests and also enjoy his musical skills in playing his selection of guitars and keyboard. I felt I had a special connection to Benjamin.

I have found my time at the Orpheus Centre really rewarding. Working alongside students during lessons has enabled me to get to know them on an individual basis and to understand their support needs. It is wonderful to see the progress made by each of them in the classroom and to attend the end of term performances.