Volunteer profile: David

Installing playground equipment with Barnardo's.

I’m David...

LtoR; Paul Green, John Brown, Paul Tucker, David Burton

I'm a Senior Signalling Support Technician, working to increase asset reliability and provide second line support to the signalling between Marylebone and Birmingham.

I've seen the support that Barnardo's has given to the families of people I work with and the fun and safe environment their facilities provide, so I wanted to help by putting a smile on a few faces through my volunteering.

What did we do?

Together with three colleagues, we had training and checks to allow us to work with Barnardo's as fully fledged volunteer members of the team.

I'm a keen DIY'er and a "get stuck in" kinda guy so this gave me a brilliant opportunity to apply my skills and energy to something truly constructive.

Barnardo's has a service in Headington, Oxford called Viking House which provides short breaks, including sitter services, befriending and individual support. They place an emphasis on building confidence and independence through inclusive play and enabling social inclusion and skills. At this service we put up a basket style swing suitable for disabled children, saving the charity valuable money needed to provide the best support possible.

What did I give and get?

Not only did we give something back but we also enjoyed being part of it. Knowing that many young people will benefit from the feature of a new swing is what it is all about, and it doesn't stop there...

We have more dates and tasks planned such as general maintenance for the Banbury Sycamore House where we will decorate accommodation and help with garden maintenance to provide a bright and tidy interactive environment. We are also planning a visit back to Viking House to install more playground equipment.

What have I learnt?

Doing something that is as simple as installing a swing truly does make a difference. This has given us a feeling of how important it is for Network Rail to help us help others. We all strongly encourage others to be as involved as they can to do their bit to help and put a smile on a child or young person’s face by helping Barnardo’s continue their work providing support to those who need it.

Volunteers don’t have to do exactly what we did to make a difference; there are many ways to help.

I personally feel that the work Barnardo’s does makes the difference so I am glad to be part of it. I look forward to committing at least 5 days a year to supporting charities in the future.