Minister of the Month – Emily Dawkins
Meet Emily Dawkins our Minster of the Month. Emily is always helpful, with a friendly smile and great sense of humour. She lives on a canal and harbours a secret desire to play the accordion.
Name: Emily Dawkins
Volunteer role: Writing Mentor and Monster Shopkeeper
Residence: In London, on the canal.
Favourite story: Funny Bones, because it’s the first one I can remember reading.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’ve lived in London for a year-and-a-half now, working as a freelance producer. I like baking and listening to music, reading stories and attempting to write them. I dream of playing the accordion.
Why did you decide to volunteer with the Ministry of Stories?
I found the Ministry of Stories on a trek through Google. I have always found volunteering to be much more valuable and rewarding then 9-5 style jobs and when I saw the amazing imagination of Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, and the different types of workshops that the ministry ran, it seemed like a wicked organisation to be part of!
Were you nervous about anything before starting?
I was nervous at first, but signing up and getting involved was simple to do. I was really nervous about the introductory day and first mentoring session but five minutes into both, everyone was so friendly and relaxed, I had forgotten everything but inspiration!
What has been the best experience of volunteering?
Meeting the kids and working in their schools has been fantastic; I had forgotten about miniature chairs, miniature tables and tiny coat hooks before then! More seriously, it’s enabled me to meet people that I would never have had the chance to enjoy the company of usually and helped make me feel more integrated into London. I also feel like the children are the mentors sometimes, there’s so much to learn, and lots of wonderful thoughts and words in every session.
What has been the most unexpected thing about volunteering?
The dynamic between the children, mentors and the session leaders is fantastic. It makes everything run smoothly and helps the kids to be expressive and get the most out of the sessions. Also getting to mentor smaller humans and witness their unique perspective is really refreshing in a world where I’m normally surrounded by serious adults!
Has volunteering changed anything in your life?
Yes! It’s made me think about things in a more well rounded way. It’s increased my confidence in London with challenging or unknown scenarios.
Describe the Ministry of Stories in three words:
Amazing, relaxed, inspiration
What would you say to other people thinking of volunteering with the Ministry?
That it’s a great opportunity and that you should give it a go! Sitting here a year after signing up, I would be really gutted if I hadn’t done it. It was the best thing I took off my ‘to do’ list that year!