Making Memories… Giving Hope

From the magazine: A job with real impact

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The following is an article from the latest issue of the CHICKS Magazine, which you can read here. Meet CHICKS Respite Leader Will.


I have been a CHICKS Respite Break Leader for three years. I love the feeling of making a difference to a child’s life, empowering them to make positive choices and showing them that sometimes the most powerful memories you can make are spending time with the people around you.

Only one word truly sums up how the children feel when they first arrive on a break... nervous! The nerves manifest in two main ways: children can be very quiet, reserved and shy, or they can go completely the opposite and be overconfident. You can always tell those who are being overconfident, because you see it in their faces. These children often need just as much, or even more support.

You will never see what a child is truly like until they trust you. We spend much of the first day and evening building these relationships and forming bonds with the group. Generally speaking, you’ll then see a massive increase in confidence and self-belief. I am hugely privileged and humbled to work as part of a team that can genuinely change a child’s life.

I hope each child will take away memories to last them a lifetime, on which they can look back in times of difficulty. Normally it’s the times that seem to us the least memorable which they remember the most, like walking up the hill to watch the sunset, toasting marshmallows over the fire, or paddling in the river. Times where the group have come together, regardless of age, race, or gender, and shared positive memories.

These memories show that no matter what happens outside of CHICKS, there’s always a positive to look back on.

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