Outreach Coordinator Emily reflects on what she has achieved in her role so far.
This October marks one year since I started volunteering with KEEN! It was something that I knew I wanted to get involved with since before starting university, and it has had such a huge impact on my university experience.
Since the end of the last academic year, I have been the Outreach Coordinator for KEEN York. I am tasked with reaching out to external bodies in York to promote the work we do to families around the area, in the hopes of attracting more children to our sessions.
My role, so far, has involved thoroughly researching SEND provision in local primary schools, so we are reaching out to children who would benefit from our sessions, as well as researching similar projects in York. Since the beginning of this term, I have been busy emailing schools, charities and health services in York to get KEEN out there. Although our sessions are always full of energy, we’d love for them to benefit even more children!
My role also involved coordinating school sessions at Hob Moor Oaks school. Hob Moor is a local special educational needs school, and KEEN has a long history of working with the PE department to provide an after school PE club to a small group of students.
Their students typically have more complex needs than the children we work with at KEEN, so it is great to see that our usual games can be adapted to include everyone! The school sessions also typically attract a lot of attention from new volunteers looking to gain experience working in primary schools, or with children with disabilities.
Throughout my time at KEEN, I have also been involved with special sessions, such as our annual sports day, and fundraising for our project. I would encourage every university student to look beyond their degree and get involved with other projects during their short time at university.
You might be able to gain experience for a career you already want to go into, or develop new passions. Volunteering has added so much to my university experience, and I am very glad that I chose to get involved with KEEN from the start of my time at York.