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Volunteer profile: Michaella Cowell
By Michaella Cowell - 4 June 2018
Volunteering for Depaul UK can take all sorts of forms – from mentoring and hosting through Nightstop to more specialist, tailored volunteering roles. Volunteer Michaella helped to meet a very specific need in the North East when she chose to volunteer:
Something that our new EVS volunteers often struggle with is resourcing low or no cost accessible English language courses. So, working together with the North East Volunteer Coordinator, Amy Jobling, we put in place a language development course so that volunteers had the opportunity to improve their English in-house. I had a bit of experience in ESOL and I studied English at university so I was happy to help out.
We wanted to keep it person-centred so that the EVS volunteers would have a course that was tailor-made to them, specifically focusing on grammatical structures, pronunciation and anything else that they wanted to cover, while keeping it interesting! For example, part of the volunteers' role is to cover admin tasks such as sending emails, so we spent a session going over email etiquette in the workplace.
It was also decided that we wanted to read a book over the duration of the course, so we read the classic 'Lord of the Flies'. On finishing her placement with Depaul, one volunteer stated that she wanted to carry on reading books in English, which was great to hear.
Being a volunteer myself, I am extremely grateful that everyone at Depaul is so accommodating in supporting me in my own development. By running the English course with Depaul's EVS volunteers, I was able to undergo a teaching qualification. As of July 2017, I am now a qualified teacher thanks in part to Depaul.
If you're interested in volunteering with Depaul UK, you can find a wide range of volunteering roles here. If you're interested in doing something else, contact our dedicated team of volunteer and mentor coordinators to discuss bespoke volunteering opportunities: