Week 1 volunteering at ‘Morning Star’

By Sinéad Hoctor & Abbie Gilkinson

This week we began our journey at Morning Star. We were welcomed with open arms by everybody here and already feel part of this loving community

Our mornings and afternoons have been spent getting to know the boys and men with special educational needs and disabilities, learning their wants and needs and having a bit of craic! They adore the bubbles. We taught the school boys ‘the cup song’ and some dance moves. I think we learned as much from them as they did from us.

It has been difficult to hear some of the stories and backgrounds of the boys but we have to remind ourselves that they are in a happy, structured and safe environment. We have also found it difficult to learn some of the Indian customs, but we are trying our best! Eating with our hands had to be one of the funniest. They have been so generous with their food – it’s amazing, potatoes galore!

When we arrived there were few toys and games for the boys with special needs to interact with. We shared our sensory toys with them that light up and feel nice to touch, stress balls, blocks etc. They really seemed to enjoy and appreciate this. We can see progress with their co-ordination which is exciting.

Thursday night was great fun doing some painting with the boys. Their artwork is so creative, bundles of talent and they all took part with such great energy! We feel very privileged to be here and be a part of these beautiful children’s everyday lives. Can’t wait for the weeks to come!