“I got involved literally by accident”
This blog is part of a series of posts by Mudiad Meithrin to celebrate Trustees Week 2018: 12 – 16 November, a celebration of trustees and the work they do. WCVA events all around the country will celebrate the achievements of trustees, as well as highlight opportunities for you to get involved with a local charity or voluntary organisation at board level.
Ryan Williams is the chairperson of Cylch Meithrin Pentrebane. His passion and commitment to this role was recently recognised when he was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award at Mudiad Meithrin’s Annual Award Ceremony in October 2018. Here he talks about how he became involved as a Trustee and what it means to him.
'I am a Chairperson and trustee of a local Cylch which is a charity providing childcare and education to children through the medium of Welsh in a local community which is within an area of deprivation.
'I got involved literally by accident, my friend asked me to come along to a meeting to discuss helping out on the committee at a local nursery - I thought, why not? I have always been interested, well I guess passionate, about children's education and was already a School Governor at my old primary school. Before I knew it I was elected Chairperson - not knowing much about the organisation I was now part of. However there was plenty of help - from staff, other volunteers, parents and support staff at the Mudiad Meithrin who support Cylchoedd Meithrin locally.
'I said I would help out for 6 months - 4 years on I am still there! It is contagious, rewarding and I have learnt so much. Even though I work full time and have family commitments I always have time for Cylch - I guess it's now part of my family and would miss it if it wasn't there.
'It is challenging at times and there is always something to do but it's not all serious - at one moment we are meeting to discuss how to pay the bills, next we are baking cakes for a fundraiser and then I'm helping build a den out of bits of wood and cardboard for the children to play in.
'If our charity - the Cylch - was not there these children would be missing out on going to a local nursery. The experiences they gain, the smiles they produce and the fun they have at achieving anything from tying their own shoe laces to growing their own sunflowers is priceless. I know as a team we are giving something back to the community, giving children a safe place to learn and play and a giving them the best start that we can will have a lasting stamp on them and the wider community. It makes the 'job' as a volunteer totally worth it.'