Having been furloughed from my usual job, that I usually did in usual times at Ministry of Stories children’s writing charity, I found myself at a bit of a loose end. I was looking for something meaningful to do with all my spare time, so three weeks ago, I registered to volunteer with Little Green Pig.
This would be my first experience of volunteering virtually, meeting with people only on Zoom, and talking things over by email. At first, I wasn’t too sure how it would go and what I would be able to do to help. I had my first meeting with Ricardo the volunteer manager on Zoom, and it turned out there was actually quite a lot that they needed help with.
The fantastic Ricardo, or RRB as he is named in the documents I get sent to me, being very well organised and helpful had already made a list of things for me to do. Some of the tasks were fairly ordinary; entering data on spreadsheets, copying chunks of text from the website onto an editing document, that sort of thing.
Then on the tasks list, I noticed an activity; ‘Create a document titled “Virtual Voices” where we can compile all the writing submitted by our young writers from the Little Green Pig Goes Online activities’. Great! I thought, some nice stories sent in by children stuck at home during lockdown that I can write up to break up some of the less interesting tasks.
I wasn’t at all prepared for the absolutely fantastic writing that would be sent in. The amazing imaginations that produced such impressive writing had me laughing out loud at the skillfully written humorous pieces, and moved by poems and stories about our NHS heroes. What a privilege to be the first person to read them!
Well, that was it – I wasn’t going to be uploading data or copying and pasting documents until I’d read every single one of these great pieces of work. Then it inevitably happened, after a while I had written up all the submissions and there were none left to read.
I feel quite sad that there are no more stories or moving poems to read, and I’ve gone back to the data entry and copying and pasting. The good news is that I think there might be more stories and poems from young people for me to read soon!
What a great thing to be doing in the lockdown for the young people, Little Green Pig’s innovative way to keep the writing going in lockdown is inspirational. It’s been a great help to me too, helping me put some structure into my week and certainly putting a smile on my face. Thank you Little Green Pig for the opportunity to volunteer, keep up the amazing work you do to support writing for young people.
Stas’ – lockdown volunteer.