Having volunteered with SAVS (Southend Association of Voluntary Services) for many years, Rochford local Georgia Cleaver, 27, was delighted to start formally working with SAVS for the Better Start Southend in January as the new Project Team Leader working on engagement.
Archery-loving Georgia had been targeting a role to help families in and around the Southend area and was overjoyed when she found out that she got the chance to do it with the organisation she had been helping for so long.
“I really support what SAVS and A Better Start Southend is trying to accomplish and being able to take a hands on role helping families in Southend is something I really believe in. The role is challenging and there is constantly something new to get to grips with but I have already started to see first-hand the difference that it can make for parents living in Southend.”
Georgia, who joined the project from working at a children’s home for youth offenders in Braintree, where she still has a part-time post, explains about her new role;
“Engagement work with the local community is key in the role, and we have to go out and find parents to help bring them on board. This could be talking to Children’s Centres or school receptionists to arrange time to speak to parents. We set up coffee evenings which turn into parent forums. An important part of my role is getting parents to become Parent Champions who will then represent parents’ opinions at council meetings and through the process of getting parents ideas put into action.”
Georgia says that volunteering helped her to improve her confidence, dealing with different types of people in all kinds of situations. Her new role hasn’t dimmed her enthusiasm towards volunteering, and she remains a regular volunteer with the Turning Tides team with SAVS, promoting active citizenship and offering a range of activities for young people living in disadvantaged areas of Central Southend.
For more information about the work of SAVS visit www.savs-southend.org/