Belfast Telegraph

Personal stories: 'You get so much more back than you give'

Nuala Browne, Barnardo's family centre volunteer

Nuala Browne has been a volunteer with Barnardo's Strabane Family Centre for over 19 years.

She was recently awarded Barnardo's president's certificate for outstanding support at an event in London.

Nuala volunteers in the Sure Start creche for children aged eight weeks to four years helping with play activities and supporting the babies and toddlers in their learning through play.

Nuala said: "Being a volunteer at Barnardo's is really important to me.

"As a volunteer you get so much more back than you ever give.

"I love the children, the staff and the fact it's a proper role and it's like following in my mum's footsteps, because she was a nurse.

"Being a volunteer you get the opportunity to help make a difference in a child's life and one of the things I am most proud of is having helped a child with cerebral palsy who had difficulty moving one of his arms.

"I spent hours with him doing repetitive exercise, getting him to reach out for toys and encouraging him.

"The outcome was that the boys arm movements improved and he uses it with much more ease.

"I would recommend anyone thinking about volunteering to give it a go.

"It is so rewarding and Barnardo's has roles to suit everyone's skills.

"There's something very special about being a volunteer."

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