Sam Avery is a volunteer at Aylesbury Vale Child Contact Centre. The centre is a safe and friendly place where children can spend time with family members they don’t live with for various reasons.

Why do you volunteer?  I am a 53-year old grandmother, working full time and living in Aylesbury. I wanted to do something useful with the little spare time I have and this role is so worthwhile as I have seen the centre make a huge positive difference both to the lives of the children and their relations. I have now been volunteering at the centre for nearly 15 years.

What attracted you to this role?  My family is very important to me and I thought I would like to try to help others improve their relationships. Also, it only takes about three hours per month which means I can easily fit it in around my work commitments.

What are the best bits of volunteering at the Centre?  When you first meet the family and find that the parents can’t cope with being in the same room together it is so rewarding to see that in time the relationship can vastly improve.

What are the most challenging bits of volunteering at the Centre?  Being impartial is very important and can be quite tricky when you hear different sides of the story from various family members.

What difference does volunteering make to you?  It makes me feel useful and is so fulfilling when a session goes well. Also, I think I am a lot less judgmental as I meet people from all walks of life.

What difference does your volunteering role make to others?  I hope that by trying to be a friendly, caring and tolerant volunteer I can help put the families at ease during what is a very difficult time for them.

Would you recommend volunteering and if so why?  I would definitely recommend volunteering. You could help make such a positive difference to a family’s life. At the moment we are very short of volunteers so would love to hear from you so that we can help more families

For more information on volunteering at Aylesbury Vale Child Contact Centre, please see or telephone the Centre’s Co-ordinator, Lianne Corben, on 07722 036873.

Updated on June 3, 2019

Image courtesy of St Francis's Children Society