MEET AN EDUCATION VOLUNTEER: HEATHER WHITEHEAD

Frankston local, Heather Whitehead, was looking for something to do while on a career break to look after her daughter. Little did she know, volunteering would be the beginning of a big change in her life.

A former I.T. Project Manager, Heather decided she wanted to keep her mind stimulated whilst on a break from work. Like many mums, she began volunteering with her daughter’s play group, and found that she loved the time she spent watching young kids learn, play and grow.

When she found a role with Ardoch at their daughter’s kindergarten, with the help of Impact Volunteering, it was a match made in heaven.

Heather now volunteers every Tuesday morning with a kindergarten class, spending time with five children in the group who need extra support, either due to learning English as a second language, language development delays, behavioural challenges or Autism Spectrum Disorder.

It’s a role that Heather relishes: “We help with activities, reading to them, whatever catches their interest…I learn so much every time I’m there. I love getting to know the children and watching their minds grow.”

During her time volunteering at the kindergarten, Heather has seen children’s development first hand. Students that were only saying one to two words at the beginning of the year, are now communicating in full sentences, and their confidence had improved dramatically.

Montague Park Pre-school Director Amy Balkin values the wonderful relationship Heather has developed with all the children in the group:

“Heather doesn’t feel like a ‘volunteer’ she just feels likes another valued member of our team. We have been able to discuss specific goals for certain children that Heather is helping us achieve. For example, expanding the vocabulary of our children with English as a second language through looking at books, using puppets and drawing pictures together.”

This isn’t the first time Heather has volunteered with the younger generation. She’s given her time to children and families, teaching martial arts for the past ten years. However, she gave that up this year to go back to study and is embarking on a new career path.

And what a change! Heather was so inspired by her time with Ardoch she is leaving behind her I.T. career to study a Diploma of Early Childhood.

We know that Heather will be a wonderful addition to any Early Childhood job and we wish her the best of luck with her studies.

Ardoch is an education charity that supports children and young people in disadvantaged communities. You can help us by making a donation or signing up as a volunteer.

Frankston local, Heather Whitehead, was looking for something to do while on a career break to look after her daughter. Little did she know, volunteering would be the beginning of a big change in her life.

A former I.T. Project Manager, Heather decided she wanted to keep her mind stimulated whilst on a break from work. Like many mums, she began volunteering with her daughter’s play group, and found that she loved the time she spent watching young kids learn, play and grow.

When she found a role with Ardoch at their daughter’s kindergarten, with the help of Impact Volunteering, it was a match made in heaven.

Heather now volunteers every Tuesday morning with a kindergarten class, spending time with five children in the group who need extra support, either due to learning English as a second language, language development delays, behavioural challenges or Autism Spectrum Disorder.

It’s a role that Heather relishes: “We help with activities, reading to them, whatever catches their interest…I learn so much every time I’m there. I love getting to know the children and watching their minds grow.”

During her time volunteering at the kindergarten, Heather has seen children’s development first hand. Students that were only saying one to two words at the beginning of the year, are now communicating in full sentences, and their confidence had improved dramatically.

Montague Park Pre-school Director Amy Balkin values the wonderful relationship Heather has developed with all the children in the group:

“Heather doesn’t feel like a ‘volunteer’ she just feels likes another valued member of our team. We have been able to discuss specific goals for certain children that Heather is helping us achieve. For example, expanding the vocabulary of our children with English as a second language through looking at books, using puppets and drawing pictures together.”

This isn’t the first time Heather has volunteered with the younger generation. She’s given her time to children and families, teaching martial arts for the past ten years. However, she gave that up this year to go back to study and is embarking on a new career path.

And what a change! Heather was so inspired by her time with Ardoch she is leaving behind her I.T. career to study a Diploma of Early Childhood.

We know that Heather will be a wonderful addition to any Early Childhood job and we wish her the best of luck with her studies.

Ardoch is an education charity that supports children and young people in disadvantaged communities. You can help us by making a donation or signing up as a volunteer.