Hear from our volunteers in their own words
I am from Southwark, South-East London and joined Real Action in 2016 whilst studying English Literature at the Queen Mary University of London. Before volunteering at Real Action I had helped my local library encourage children to read, and saw first-hand how happy children were reading the novels they loved!
Subsequently my first visits of Real Action’s Butterfly school in Queen’s Park left a good impression on me, as I could visibly see the children drastically improve their mastery of the English language in a very short amount of time. The actions and efforts of teachers and students translated into dramatic, observable progress, with the Butterfly teaching method working for a diverse array of students each with their own individual challenges to overcome. Learning how to become a part of this charity, learning how to teach and help so many children in need of help – has been an invaluable and unforgettable experience. For me, teaching at Butterfly school has come with the powerful reward of seeing future generations gain self-confidence through literacy.
Kiren Chong-James - Butterfly Saturday Reading School Volunteer
I have enjoyed reading and writing since childhood; I was that child who would come home with an abundance of books from the library, then read them in a few days. I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Hospitality Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, and then spent 5 years working as a Reception Manager in a 4 Star hotel. I currently work for Chartered Surveyors in Central London, as Property PA.
My heart still yearns for books, and teaching, so I decided to do voluntary work, and found Real Action, while searching on the internet. I couldn’t believe my luck when I was asked to meet with Queenie, and within weeks I found myself at Colville School.
I enjoy the great work the charity does and thought that I could use my fundraising experience to help the charity. The company where I work (Lee Baron Limited) raised £500 for Real Action through my charity event which I held in March, books were also collected to donate to Real Action’s learning store, where I received about 300+ books.
The Butterfly lessons are well structured, and the teachers are firm but fair, which enables discipline and focus in the class. I enjoy seeing the children progress, and it warms my heart.
Lorraine Vincent - Butterfly Saturday Reading School Volunteer
I’m a native Londoner and after graduating from the University of Nottingham in 2011, I spent the first five years of my career as a Headhunter in the City of London. I got in touch with Real Action out of sheer luck, having seen their name on a candidate’s LinkedIn Page. A few days later after calling Real Action, I went for an induction and I’ve been working as a Butterfly volunteer ever since!
For me, it’s been a truly life-enriching experience, to really give something back to the local communities where the Butterfly Schools are based, and the rewarding feeling of working with the children and seeing their growth and progress in just a couple of sessions has been fantastic. I can safely say after years spent in an office environment, stepping into the classroom has been incredibly refreshing, challenging and a lot of fun.
I really believe all the children at the Butterfly Schools have so much potential and it’s so brilliant to feel that I can help make a difference to their future success and indirectly help the local community at a wider level by improving literacy rates. The ethos of Real Action has been so important too, all the staff and volunteers are very engaged and want to make a difference; there is a great shared energy and enthusiasm evident for wanting to help transform these children’s prospects and chances in education at a grassroots level.
George Folger - Butterfly Saturday Reading School Volunteer