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Volunteer stories: Bishop Walsh Catholic School

/media/getinvolved/library/year-12---bishop-walsh-catholic-school---july-2017---cropped.jpgAs part of the life of the Archdiocese, Father Hudson’s welcomes enquiries from schools who want to put their faith into action by volunteering.

Five students from Bishop Walsh Catholic School spent time volunteering across the Adult Care team in Coleshill as part of their student placement.

The Year 12 students helped out at St Joseph’s Residential Home and St Catherine’s Day Service, both in Coleshill, working closely with the staff to ensure they gave the best support to residents and clients.

One student, Patrick, spent his placement working alongside staff at St Joseph’s Residential Home, which is home to around 60 elderly residents, many of whom live with dementia. Over the course of the week, he shadowed staff members and helped where appropriate. Interacting daily with residents, he supported them to carry out daily tasks and join in with entertainment and activities.

Patrick said, “I helped elderly people with dementia enjoy their day. It was challenging because of the severity of their condition but with patience I was able to recognise the daily needs of residents and learned to communicate with them in an appropriate manner.” After finishing his week of volunteering at St Joseph’s, he said, “I have become more humble and patient as a result of my time in the care home.”

Working with vulnerable people can have a positive impact on young people, as it makes them more thankful for the things they have in their lives and for little things they may take for granted.

The remaining four students visited St Catherine’s Day Service, a place for young people and adults with complex disabilities to come to enjoy a range of exciting activities and relaxing therapies. A couple of students initially found it challenging to communicate with clients and understand their needs.

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Another student, Grace, said, “I had to learn to understand what their needs are and was able to use body language to infer what they wanted. I was able to persevere from when I started so that I gained more knowledge about each person and how their needs can be met.” However, the attentive and caring students persevered through all of the expected struggles to make the week wonderful for all concerned.

Father Hudson’s Care aims to give a warm welcome to visitors and users of our services. This is clearly evident in our day-to-day work. As one of the young volunteers said, “The community at St Catherine’s seems very tight knit. Everyone has a friendly face and the way they communicate with the clients is exactly how a family member would want.” As a charity, we are glad that this shines through and is valued by our visitors.

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