We are here to support, promote and develop voluntary and community action in Middlesbrough

A Day in the Life of... Suganya

This is a series of Day in the Life of blogs we're running to give an insight into the team here at MVDA.

Suganya Subramaniaraja is the Volunteer Centre Co-ordinator at Middlesbrough Volunteer Centre in MVDA. 

I have worked in MVDA for 8 years, currently as the volunteer centre coordinator. I can truly champion the cause of volunteering as I started my journey with MVDA as a volunteer and then became a paid staff. My role is to promote volunteering..more specifically good practice in volunteering, connecting suitable volunteers with the right opportunities.

Today, I woke up to sunshine streaming through the window and the quiet buzzing of the fan, reminding me of my days back home in India… and then I quickly do a sweep around me to find my phone.. is it time to get up?

Yes, of course, I am late…just have 20 minutes to hit the shower and get ready to sit on my Yoga mat by 5:30 for my online Yoga class! The early times are Ok in summer but do have to push myself out of bed during the cold winter months.

After an hour of body-bending and mind-bending activity, it is time to quickly check the headlines in case I miss any exciting news such as ‘The aliens have finally landed’. Then I put on my cooking cap to get family breakfast sorted and the lunch orders for the day completed, in between hollering to the kids to wake up!

8:30 am…finally some peace and quiet, now time to quickly check my emails and then get going to the allotment at Beechwood as it is our first in person Volunteer coordinators forum that I am facilitating, and we have certainly come back with a bang as the location and setting is fabulous. We had some chicken to keep us company as well...which was enjoyable except when they attempted to peck our feet.

As these sessions are meant to be informal, to create natural connections and conversations, I got the lovely participants to engage in a funny game which got us all engaged, creating a natural space for conversation. As the day progressed, we went to talk about good practice in volunteer management, the Tees Valley Volunteer Charter and this was a brilliant opportunity for me to make a list of To do’s to ensure that we can offer the right support to our lovely volunteer coordinators.

We ended the session with some campfire cooking .. with a menu of homemade soup and some lovely sourdough bread. As the participants started to take leave and catch up with the rest of their day’s work, I got all my bits and bobs together to scoot off back home to catch up with my emails and other bits of work.

If you are feeling a wee bit jealous about my day so far, I will not expand on my activities yesterday which included taking my wonderful Galloway Garden colleagues and volunteers for lunch at the Hindu Cultural Centre.. which proved that promoting equality and diversity can be done without it being a training activity!

2 pm..back home, got the computer started, checked the Teams chat to see if I had missed any interesting updates as well as replied to the emails waiting in my inbox. Got that sorted and started to prepare for the next day’s event which required promotional material to highlight the success of a project that I am currently working.

4:30 pm... quick check to see if anything else needs to be done and finally with the satisfaction of having a good day at work finally put all my work gear away.

No two days working at MVDA are the same and not everyday is as exciting as today but there is always something that cheers me up or invigorates me.

Here is a quote from Winnie the Pooh that sums it up:

“‘When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, ‘What’s the first thing you say to yourself?’

 ‘What’s for breakfast?’ said Pooh.

‘What do you say, Piglet?’

 ‘I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?’ said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. ‘It’s the same thing,’ he said.

Suganya Subramaniaraja