Celebrating Volunteer Week: Marlene Kelly’s great new initiative at St Patrick’s, Swansea

One of the best things about volunteers who work at our schools is that they often come up with great ideas and initiative.

Marlene Kelly - who for the past five years has worked tirelessly to support the day-to-day running of St Patrick’s Primary School, Swansea - is no different.

This year, she introduced a new initiative at the school’s canteen. Twice each term, Marlene decides on a special Friday menu item and has four Year 6 students work in the canteen the day before to help prepare the food.

The idea came to Marlene while working at the canteen where she prepares lunches, serves at the counter and cleans up afterwards.

As a grandparent volunteer, she began volunteering when her grand-daughter enrolled at St Patrick’s in 2015. She now has two grandchildren at the school, one in Year 2 and one in Year 4.

This initiative and her organisational skills are a wonderful asset to the school, particularly on special occasions when there is a meal-deal day which always attracts those who enjoy such deals.

“Apart from when she is organising the menu, you will probably find Marlene either cooking a barbecue, preparing a salad, serving the students or cleaning up afterwards,” said Principal of St Patrick’s, Peter Green.

“Her endless supply of stamina and energy is absolutely amazing.”

 “She is also a wonderfully patient person who is playing a key role in educating our next generation of Master Chefs,” said Peter who is fulsome in his praise of all volunteers at the school.

“Volunteers are a valued and vital part of the day-to-day running of St Patrick’s.

“Thanks to the efforts of the many volunteers at St Patrick’s, our students have many opportunities to learn from and be exposed to a broad range of skills, expertise and experience.

“Our volunteers also help to build a shared sense of community at St Patrick’s and they enable us to broaden the perspectives and voices that contribute to the life of our school.”

Being a volunteer at St Patrick’s also creates opportunities for community connection and involvement and engagement for parents, grandparents and members of the broader parish community.

“Our volunteers gain an enhanced sense of personal satisfaction from having an opportunity to give back and to share their skills, experience and expertise,” said Mr Green.

To find out more about volunteering at St Patrick’s Primary School, click here.

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Gabrielle Sutherland Image
Gabrielle Sutherland

Gabrielle Sutherland is a Marketing & Communications Officer for the Catholic Schools Office and a regular contributor to mnnews.today and Aurora.