Que ce que c’est le point of volunteering?

While at school, university and now in my “grown up” adult life I have always been drawn to volunteering.

I can’t help but remember an episode of Friends (I do find there to be a Friends reference for almost every life event…) where Phoebe and Joey argue about whether or not selfless good deeds exist…

I have to admit volunteering is a bit like that for me. I get it helps others but I don’t really think of myself as a giving Mother Theresa type; I just like getting out, organising things and meeting people.

So, what does this have to do with motherhood, teaching or toddlers?

At the moment I’m (an overly keen?) volunteer with the NCT. I’ve volunteered in different capacities since my Tot was a few months old and the local group I had never gotten round to attending was about to be closed down. Meeting and greeting at informal playgroups, hosting Tea Parties and attending lots of other NCT events and telling every mum I meet about the groups. (In the spirit of which – if you’re local to Crystal Palace, check out the NCT Facebook page!)

A recent snap from an NCT Crystal Palace Tea Party. V relaxed gathering of mums and babes. 

If you haven’t already been along to an NCT group – South London based or otherwise – you might be wondering what to expect. It’s such a fantastic lifeline for parents that I feel passionately that everyone should go along to NCT events. It’s not all about their antenatal courses… in fact, as much as I enjoyed meeting parents with due dates around the same time as us and as much as we’ve stayed in touch, there’s so much more to it than the (rather costly) course.
What have I got out of volunteering for my local branch?

  • A sense of structure to my week while on maternity leave. Every Friday I set up toys and chairs for my local Bumps and Babies group. I then ate lots of cake, drank lots of coffee and had great chats with other mums.
  • Getting the organisational geekiness out of my system. I love it when a plan comes together.. it’s great when loads of people turn out at an event you were worried might be you and 2 other volunteers due to horrible weather.
  • Meeting an amazing group of mums who are so lovely and do so many interesting jobs, have so much varied life experience… it’s always fascinating to chat.

There are lots of amazing people behind the NCT… and it gives us volunteering geeks a buzz when there are lots of people engaging with the branch so if you haven’t already, check out your local NCT Branch today!! <queue cheesy music>

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