Thursday 4th May was the first time I was able to take part in Warwick STAR Conversation clubs this term and it was also going to be my first time taking part in the Thursday session. I arrived at Coventry’s Migrant Centre with one other volunteer and two new volunteers who were looking forward to taking part and meeting the participants.
However, upon arrival we discovered that there had been some miscommunications in organisation and the Co-ordinator was unable to make the session. We struggled to contact the exec and worried if we would be able to run the session without a programme, any materials or refreshments. The fact that it was the exam period meant that there were fewer volunteers available and I was aware that for the Thursday session in particular, as many as twenty participants could come to the session. The sessions are pre-scheduled at the centre and the participants take time out of their day to take part. Therefore, we needed to come up with a new plan, and quickly.
Ultimately one of the exec arrived and we managed to get the programme sent to us by email. Workers at the migrant centre were kind enough to help us about by giving us some materials and stationery and one of the volunteers was able to pop to the shops to get some refreshments.
As a team, we have been volunteering since October and I think we surprised ourselves at how we were able to rally together and divide up the planned activities for the session. The topic was flat-hunting and as a team we were able to make sure that Conversation Club ran as per usual. We had lots of fun discussing what type of housing we lived in with the participants and helping them learn some new vocabulary regarding flat hunting.
In the end, the session went really well. We were able to take on the extra responsibility for organising the session and we showed how as a team we could come together to make the session work. Conversation Club depends so much on volunteers’ dedication and empowering them to take the lead when necessary.