You may have read a previous post about me volunteering at the museum. I’ve wanted to do something with my time. Although I’m really poorly, and I hide it a lot from people, I try to push the very best I can through barriers and the very unpleasant conditions and symptoms. I would love to have a job. To be with other adults and having a break from child talk all the time. I long to keep my mind ticking, doing something I find interesting. Despite seeing jobs I would like to apply to, when it comes to the reality of it, it just isn’t possible. Just getting my children and myself ready of a morning, sitting as a passenger in the car to take them to school, I find really knocks it out of me. I’m falling asleep in the car or holding back the tears in pain, needing to go straight back to bed to lye on my side with an ice pack, and more medication. At the moment I don’t get much time to myself. My youngest is only in for 2.5 hours, and by the time have taken them and come back, it’s time to go back to pick her up again. The school my children go to isn’t in our catchment area. Bit of a long story, but my eldest didn’t get into reception at the Welsh school he was in for nursery (despite appealing on strong grounds), so he started in the closest Welsh school with places over 7 miles away. This is where my youngest has started now too.
I can imagine seeing myself in different jobs and working. My health has such a huge impact though and it isn’t possible now, but I hope in the future it will be.
With the volunteering, there isn’t that daily commitment. I can do as little or as much as I can. Even if it was just once in the year! This reassures me. I don’t want to feel stressed like I’m letting others down not being able to do daily or weekly work, and have pressure that there must be a minimum amount I have to do. In the past I have helped from my hospital bed by spending a few minutes sharing information for communities first on social media.
I came across Sherman 5 on Facebook. Sherman 5 helps support the people of Cardiff, the Vale, Rhondda, Bridgend and Newport from community first areas and community groups, who haven’t been to the theatre before.
What does the Sherman 5 offer?
Once signed up, Sherman 5:
Gives the member a free first visit to the theatre on a Sherman 5 night
After the first free visit, subsequent visits on Sherman 5 nights are at a reduced price, £5, (under 25’s £2.50)
Family offer on Sherman 5 nights gives a child ticket free (under 18) for every adult ticket purchased
Free coach transport from Community First areas on Sherman 5 nights (availability limited)
Free IFF Cardiff bus card to travel to and from the theatre on a Sherman 5 night
75% discount in the Sherman theatre cafe
Free events and activities created for new Sherman 5 visitors.
If you are on your own but would like a buddy for company on a Sherman 5 night, they can arrange this for you.
I think the Sherman 5 is a fantastic scheme to support people to attend the theatre, whether they have never been before or haven’t been in a long time. It’s for people who face barriers and / or are at a disadvantage. A great opportunity for all of the community.
This is where my volunteering journey has began with Sherman 5. I’ve become a volunteer with them, becoming a Sherman 5 rep. I contacted the coordinator and arranged to meet up to talk about it. It was a friendly informal chat about the role. I was given a tour of the area I would be volunteering in. I was given a tshirt with the logo on, which is to wear when I am helping out. Once you build up your hours you can get a hoody with a logo on too. I was very fortunate to get given it straight away!
I will be arranging my first show shift very soon. I’ve already helped out with with mail outs. I came in for a couple of hours and put labels on envelopes and inserted leaflets.
As a Sherman 5 rep, you can earn time credits. For every hour, you get 1 time credit. These can be used to pay for a variety services such as swimming, the gym, a theatre performance, massage, entry to a children’s adventure play place and many more. There is a booklet showing what you can use them on.
I’m at the start of my journey with Sherman 5 and I believe it has many benefits for myself and other members of the community. I’m looking forward to it.
Get it touch! I hugely recommend it!
If you would like to sign up or find out more, about Sherman 5 you can contact the coordinator, Guy O’Donnell, on mobile 07703 729079 or email firstname.lastname@example.org