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To feel a bit sad and left out

(30 Posts)
mugglebumthesecond Thu 15-Dec-16 11:03:02

I'm a volunteer in two separate school settings and towards the end of the year I'm not needed due to the time table being shaken up and they don't want volunteers in school. Good for me as I work freelance and can get ready for Christmas while the Dc are in school smile

However, I've been feeling fed up that because I work for myself and I am just a volunteer two days a week, I don't get the Christmas build up, Christmas dos, atmosphere, banter, dressing up , secret Santa, cheeky cakes and mine pies.

I'm completely expecting you to tell me to shut up because all the staff would love peace and quiet at this time of year but this is their job for which they get paid for.

Sitting here working and feeling isolated. The reason I volunteer is because my work at home is quite intense and I actually do it for my enjoyment but at Christmas time I feel pushed to one side.


Tenshidarkangel Thu 15-Dec-16 12:20:47

I don't think it's unreasonable to want to be included even though you only work 2 days a week there. You're still working.
Could you speak to a manager about it?

mugglebumthesecond Thu 15-Dec-16 13:46:01

I would probably be too embarrassed to speak to them about it to be honest- there is no solution and it is my own choice to volunteer. Just maybe staff should thank or include volunteers- maybe.

throwingpebbles Thu 15-Dec-16 13:49:54

What is your role there?
I would have thought the staff would be glad to have extra help at this time of year. If you phrased it as being happy to help with different stuff over Christmas if they would welcome that then there is no harm in offering smile

FinallyHere Thu 15-Dec-16 13:50:31

Are there any freelancer/business groups in your area, who might run networking groups and occasional lunches etc Lots of people are no longer part of a traditional team, if there is nothing out there, you could start a group

FinnegansCake Thu 15-Dec-16 13:52:29

Volunteers should be included, it's awful that they aren't when presumably the school is very glad to have them the rest of the year shock

mintthins Thu 15-Dec-16 13:54:01

The lovely school I volunteer in had a volunteers mince pie and cup of tea this week. The DCs primary school did this too (and in fact also did a hot cross buns one at Easter). Obviously it is too late for this year, but perhaps you could offer to organise one yourself for the end of next term, and include all the volunteers.

mugglebumthesecond Thu 15-Dec-16 13:59:04

that's a really good idea looking for a group- we just do not have the camaraderie. I'm sure there are so many more people who feel the same- don't get me wrong I do have friends but it hit me when I was in a shop and the staff were jolly and dressed up and cheerful.

I started off as a parent helper and kept going to the school once my DC had moved on. I don't expect helpers to be included at all and they probably still do see me as that because yes what I do is volunteer in school, assisting children who struggle with literacy- this is linked to the job that I do.

I could offer general help but because during term I do something specific I would probably feel under their feel and am a bit ashamed and embarrassed to ask. The feeling of being pushed aside hasn't helped really.

gabsdot Thu 15-Dec-16 14:29:11

I was self employed for 12 years and I felt a bit like this. No Christmas parties, secret Santa's, excitement etc.
I have no suggestions, just I know how you feel.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Thu 15-Dec-16 14:35:31

You give up your time for no reward, and. Then you're dropped like a hot potato, because. They don't need the help. I'd be hurt, too

mugglebumthesecond Thu 15-Dec-16 14:43:11

Oh thank you- I am glad it's not just me, working alone I tend to become introspective and self absorbed. There is no solution it's just good to know I am not being so unreasonable!

Irontheshirts Thu 15-Dec-16 15:27:24

An ex teacher here.
Firstly thanh you for volunteering in schools you do make such a difference. Where I worked we were concerned that volunteers time was not wasted so would say don't come in when things were off timetable . We didn't want anyone to waste their time if the children were busy doing something else - rehearsing Christmas parties but would have been more that happy for you to join in especially if your idea of fun is a hall full of partying 6 and 7 year olds. 😉
Just say I d love to help at... we did have volunteers arrive to work with children when there was a special assembly some other off timetable event and felt awful that we had forgotten to say as they might feel they were wasting their time.
Schools love volunteers
Our head used to invite all volunteers to a Christmas lunch day as a thank you 😊

Hardshoulder Thu 15-Dec-16 15:35:08

I do find this slightly weird, I'll admit. I work FT and we don't do Christmas meals/parties/Secret Santas/cards, 'cheeky mincepies' etc at all. Perhaps schools are different, with nativity plays and the like, but I don't think 'Christmas build up' is part of all workplaces by any means.

CurlyMango Thu 15-Dec-16 17:54:26

Hardshoulder I agree, it's not real work place. Perhaps the OP has higher expectations or should arrange things so she and others have them.

harderandharder2breathe Thu 15-Dec-16 18:02:21

Yanbu, I work in an office but have been off sick for the last few months with MH issues. I'm missing the festivities (daily game/puzzle, secret santa etc) especially since it was normally me who got to decorate the office and dress up as santa. Doesn't help that no one has been in touch at all except my manager (because it's her job), and not invited to my teams meal out, never mind the company 'do'

Have you let the school know that you're happy to come in and be an extra body for shepherding overexcited small people or helping at the end of term events? Some people wouldn't if they volunteer for a specific thing and the school may not want to pressure anyone into saying yes when they're already a valued volunteer.

SunflowerHouse Thu 15-Dec-16 18:12:56

I know how you feel too. I left a TA job in a school 2 years ago when I had my 2nd child. Since then I've been a sahp and now I help out in my dh shop, only trouble is it's just me in there! A tin of celebrations and a Christmas cd doesn't quite cut it.

mindthegap01 Thu 15-Dec-16 19:56:50

Good grief YANBU! Can you come and volunteer at my school? I'm a teacher and am always especially grateful for extra hands on deck at this time of year.

I imagine they're all so busy and the normal timetable is disrupted that it's been overlooked. Just tell them you're happy to help with whatever you need and I'm sure they'll be grateful.

mugglebumthesecond Thu 15-Dec-16 19:57:32

I do find this slightly weird, I'll admit. I work FT and we don't do Christmas meals/parties/Secret Santas/cards, 'cheeky mincepies' etc at all. Perhaps schools are different, with nativity plays and the like, but I don't think 'Christmas build up' is part of all workplaces by any means.

It's good to hear another perspective. It's funny you find it weird because obviously I've worked in work places and so does my DH.

And I'd find it weird not to have Christmas outings and secret santas. Maybe I do have different standards but I've definitely had feelings of isolation.

The CRB I had to go through was done for 'workforce' and it's definitely work!

Hardshoulder Thu 15-Dec-16 20:26:45

I'm not suggesting yours isn't a workplace for a moment, just that I don't think all workplaces by any means have a culture of Christmas activities!

In my current department we don't do anything Christmas-related. I've had a card from one of my classes. At my last institution, we usually had a departmental dinner and drinks with the graduate students. The one before that, I think we just had drinks the last Friday of term, and not always that. I've never worked anywhere that did a Secret Santa/random mince pies, decorations or general Christmas 'build up'. This time of year is pretty full-on with marking, exams etc.

user1472334322 Thu 15-Dec-16 20:52:18

Curlymango, correct me if I'm wrong but are you saying schools are not real work places?? If that's the case, what do you believe teachers and, in fact, children do all year???

user1472334322 Thu 15-Dec-16 20:57:31

Op, go and ask the head or teachers if they need help with anything. I'm sure they'd welcome it! I've worked in schools as a teacher and a ta for many years and always loved to have extra help at Christmas. I'm sure they'd be happy to have you join in on secret santa top. Why don't you take mince pies etc in and then you can join in on eating them!!! Hope you have a great Christmas and your school is lucky to have you!

user1472334322 Thu 15-Dec-16 20:57:59

Too not top!

TealGiraffe Thu 15-Dec-16 21:01:38

In my primary school volunteers are a godsend! We have one lady who has done 2 afternoons a week since she retired about 10years ago. She is definitely a part of the school!

She does reading, helps in the library, helps with crafts, etc.

She is an extra body on 'easy' trips (eg not many stairs / long walks, she is 74). She went to the panto last week with year3, and helped us backstage at the nativity. Getting 30 kids changed and organised quietly you need all the hands you can get!

The head also hosts a 'thank you drink' on the last day (tomorrow yay!) after our carol service, there will be mince pies and tea/coffee in the library. Each class has also made a card / picture for the volunteers.

Im sorry you are feeling left out, good volunteers are gold dust!

MrsGallagher Thu 15-Dec-16 21:21:37

Your school is very ungrateful. I work for a charity and we value our volunteers. We have events during the year to thank them and a couple of days ago we had a Christmas get together for them. Some organisations are really poor at recognising the valuable contribution volunteers make.

I suggest you find somewhere else to volunteer, there are plenty of charities out there who would welcome your help.

SpookyPotato Thu 15-Dec-16 22:09:42

We never had Christmas stuff (apart from a bit of decor) at any of my old workplaces but your school obviously does and it's a bit off not to invite volunteers after all your hard work for the year. I can understand why you feel isolated. I would just offer myself next time as I'm sure they would be glad of the extra help!

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