To mark Volunteers’ Week we’re highlighting the work of the committed volunteers at Alexandra Palace. People from all walks of life who donate their time and expertise to help ensure the Park and Palace remain open for all.
Volunteers help with all aspects of the work of Alexandra Palace – from maintaining the Park to mentoring staff and conducting tours. Recently, a group of volunteers helped plan activities for Haringey’s Weekend of Play. Below you can read Clare Moussaid’s experiences of volunteering at the Palace and the work that went into this brilliant day.
To find out more and see how you can get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
I first became involved with volunteering at Alexandra Palace a few months ago when I read about the Sensory Suitcase project. As someone with a family member with dementia I really wanted to get involved and learn more about the condition. Along with the rest of the team, I have used my passion for arts and crafts to help prepare the sensory materials to be used with the patients and their carers in Haringey care homes.
It was through my regular communications with Chiara, the Volunteer Coordinator that I heard about Haringey’s Weekend of Play. It was only the second year of this fun event, where Haringey Council try to encourage families to get out into all the great parks and open spaces in Haringey and enjoy the fresh air and surroundings. This year’s theme was ‘Explore the Park’.
The small team of staff and volunteers got together to come up with some family friendly activities that we could deliver around the boating lake area of the palace. We had a couple of face to face meetings and also shared ideas through emails. Eventually, we decided on a nature trail around the lake and some paper flower making activities for the children and their families to do together and we were also given permission to use the hut next to the cafe.
On the morning of the event the sun was shining and we all anticipated a great day ahead. My role was to set up and supervise the flower making activities. I was genuinely impressed with the quality of the nature trails that had been produced by the Friends of Alexandra Park; so clear and colourful, easy for children and families use. During the course of the day we had many families visit us for a trail and afterwards to make the flowers.
We made roses from tissue paper and daffodils with paper and straws – I don’t know who had more fun, them or me! Seeing the excitement of the children on completion of the flowers was my highlight of the day. One young teenage girl commented on how she was going to go home and make a whole string of roses for her bedroom which was so lovely to hear. I’d certainly get involved with this event again as it was such a positive experience and we all felt the day was a great success.
Alexandra Palace is a charity, run for the benefit of everyone. Our Park, Palace and spectacular events have been enriching lives since 1863, but the coronavirus pandemic has hit us hard. To be blunt, we are looking at a £1m shortfall this year and the same again next year. We know this time has been hard on many people but, if you can afford it, your support will help us get through this crisis.