EVS Diary – Supporting Communities, Encouraging Potential, Northern Ireland 2018


I had a lot of amazing things happening. In the beginning of the month two of my really good friends from home visited me, and we spent 3 days together. It was wonderful, it was a lovely distraction from the issues of last month. With Lisa, we went to an African children’s choir concert in one of the churches in Bangor, we had an amazing time, enjoying the music and learning about their organisation. I’ve been hiking to Cave Hill in
Belfast for the first time, the weather was gorgeous. I missed hiking and being this close to nature, I had the best time ever. I’ve spent the last week in Hungary with my friends and family. I was very busy, meeting all my loved ones. It felt like only a few days, time flew so fast. Coming back to Bangor and starting working right away was a little tiring. It’s definitely going to be a bit difficult, settling back in to my volunteering project just after being so close to the people I’m missing the most. I was expecting this difficult part to happen, so I’m not surprised by it.

I still need to catch up on some of the new information from last week. Now, all three of us have a different line manager/supervisor, mine is Fran, the leader of the After School Club. She is already very helpful in everything I’m asking her, we didn’t have a meeting yet,  but hopefully we’ll find a way to discuss all the important things in the future. I am working with her 3 days a week, I’m spending half of my working hours with her so it will definitely be easier to discuss issues or be informed about changes. I was attending a training at CiNI (Children in Northern Ireland) about child protection. I was lucky to have met Zdenka, an other EVS volunteer there too. It was only an afternoon, and I heard most of the information before, but it was good to refresh my knowledge on the topic. Next day I went to the Jobs Fair in Belfast. I was expecting something bigger to be honest, as I attended some huge ones in Budapest before, but I have spoken to some of the people and received a lot of information about possible job seeking websites I could use. I haven’t decided if I wanted to stay in Belfast or Northern Ireland after my voluntary project finishes, but I decided to keep my eyes open for opportunities, so I might find a job here.

At work I tried to put less pressure on myself and focus on the things I could make better for myself. At After School Club and Creche everything is going well, I wouldn’t say there’s any issues. At the latter, I am working an extra 2 hours for one more week. There was a 4 week programme where they needed extra help and they asked me to do it. In the Youth Club I feel better without the extra responsibility of organising and planning sessions,
and there are more and more young people joining the club. Because of my days off and training were involving Tuesdays, I missed 3 Duke of Edinburgh sessions in a row. This weekend we’re working with them because of the final expedition. I just got informed by Lisa that we will have to count our days off by the hours, so I can reclaim my extra working hours on other weekdays. Lisa told me that the issue with having a mentor is solved, however I
can’t get to my emails for some technical reasons so I can’t see the email from Margy, our mentor. This is one of the things that I need to catch up on from last week, when I was at home. I think I am at a point now in my voluntary experience where I feel confident to suggest changes or tell people if there is something that’s not going how it should be.

Being home for a week also helped with reconnecting with the ‘real world’. I recognised how I don’t feel very motivated to work at my programmes anymore, and I know there are no other things I could try and work at right now, so I’ll try and find ways to make my experience better; finding new ideas, games, educational things to do with the kids, trying to be a little innovative. Also the summer scheme should start next month, which will
be a big change, a new schedule for all 3 of us. I have a lot of things planned for the summer, hopefully things will be better now with all the possible changes happening around dealing with EVS volunteers at the YMCA.


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