This year I joined the SVP conference. I joined because to me it was the first step to getting involved this year and I have always heard about the years above us doing it and to me it seemed like an amazing opportunity to give back to the community. I wanted to develop a better understanding of social situations and the world in general that we tend to be ‘protected’ from. It was my beginning to becoming a member of SVP, but it meant more than just going to meetings, it meant caring and trying our best to help and to do what we could.
In the first week or two we elected members to run our conference. I ran for Public Relations Officer because I’m not shy and I find talking and communication comes easy to me. I gave a speech to my year in which I included why I thought I should be PRO and how I planned to go about the role. I was thrilled when I heard I had been elected and that my year had listened to what I said. I felt a surge of belonging in my year group, and so the journey began.
We organised SVP Awareness week and the big raffle first and they turned out great. We were so happy with the results. We were so glad because all the work we had done before hand had come together and all the organising, meetings, posters, phone calls had been worth it. The Friday of the raffle was indescribable. Everyone just pulled together for the last day and gave it their all. You could feel the atmosphere around the school and it all felt so worth it and rewarding. We were all giddy and grinning at the end of the day knowing that the week had been a success.
We also did a 24hr food fast as a year. It may have been hard and tiring and we may have been slightly over-dramatic about it from time to time but it was great. It’s funny how not eating can turn into a good thing. It meant the whole year were working together, supporting each other and understanding how hard it is for some children trying to concentrate in school when they’re hungry. I felt like this food fast made a big impact on our year.
Then we had the big Christmas party and it was spectacular. We had face-painting, ginger bread making, Santa and lots more. We worked together as a year to get the tables set up, presents wrapped, the hall decorated, food baked and to give those children the best day we could give them, and we did it. The party was amazing, all the children showed up, they had smiles on their faces and they had the time of their lives with their big sisters. Everyone made a massive effort and it was so heart-warming to see how much everyone genuinely cared.
I helped out in general on the day to help solve any hiccups that may have occurred but of course not everything is that easy. One of the big sisters had a boy that was extremely shy and uncomfortable in the hall. It was only later that we found out he had autism. He found the noise and the amount of people overwhelming and he wanted to go home. It was hard to see him get picked up and his big sister was extremely upset but she did an amazing job and made him feel as at home as possible. She made sure he got to see Santa and got his present and she didn’t push him to do anything he didn’t want to.
It was an amazing experience all together I learnt so many new skills. I used my school E-Mail every day, I made lists and tables on word, I made announcements on the intercom, I spoke to different years, I met new people, I sold raffle tickets, I handed letters into shops, I asked people for donations, I ran meetings when Ella and Grace weren’t in and I learnt to talk on the phone. They’re all great skills that I have improved on and I am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to grow as a person. Especially talking on the phone. I know its small but it’s something I always hated doing. Even ordering Chinese I’d always get my parents to do it. I have always just hated it, I get really uncomfortable and nervous and I forget what I am saying. This year I’ve grown up, I had to make calls on numerous occasions and learnt how to stay calm and stay on track and you’ll be glad to know I now order the Chinese myself.
I grew a greater understanding of SVP this year. I’ve learnt why it’s so important and how much people depend on charities like SVP and people like us to take action and start doing stuff for others. I’ve learnt it’s so important to give to others when you can and to be as generous as you can be. Both the people you help and you are rewarded and it is a great feeling knowing you made an impact on a person’s day, week, month or even year. I’ve learnt even the smallest things like telling the children they’re so helpful or polite makes a difference and means a lot to them. It doesn’t hurt or cost to be kind and I’ve learnt it is something we tend to forget to do and forget how easy it is. I have a new found ‘passion’ for SVP. It’s hard to describe. It’s like something needs to be done and I want to do it or someone needs help and I want to help. I find myself speaking highly of SVP explaining to others why it’s so important and how they can help too. I get frustrated when people don’t feel as eager to help or to start doing stuff I have found it’s now something I hold very close to my heart.
Lastly, becoming a member of SVP this year has rewarded me so much with new people. This year I have grown so close to so many new people. I get to talk to everyone in my year all the time. I have gotten to know everyone a bit better this year. I’ve become friends with Senior SVP members and talk to them about any questions or queries I have. I’ve talked to shop owners and parents about SVP. I’ve talked to other students about SVP and raffle tickets. One morning me and Amy stood at the gate and welcomed every single person in our school and gave them a blue ribbon and told them it was SVP Awareness week. I’ve grown close to Ms. Donoghue this year as well, I find her easy to talk to and understanding. I’ve become great friends with all the elected members and I know they’re all such kind and helpful girls who always have my back. More specifically I’ve become great friends with Ella. We’ve talked about so much because we were constantly with each other I could tell her anything. She is so kind and sweet and I am so glad I’ve gotten to know her so well she’s helped me on days I was struggling and I’ve helped her on days she was struggling, we always had each other’s backs. We are now very close friends we even got ready together for the last disco. I am so grateful for all the friends and memories I’ve made this year from SVP.