What does Sue Whelan love about volunteering at Daisy Chain? “I love that at 62 years old I still get to have fun in soft play and go down the slide – that’s my favourite activity,” she laughs.

Sue has been volunteering for eight years at Daisy Chain after she took early retirement from her role as a rehabilitation officer training blind and visually impaired people independent living skills.

Herself visually impaired from birth, Sue understands what it is like to live with a disability and have little support in school as a youngster. But Sue has not let it stand in the way of her learning – she has degrees in sociology and education, psychology and went on to complete a master’s in psychology too.

“When I left full-time work, I wanted to volunteer and do something different. My great nephew was undergoing diagnosis for Autism Spectrum Disorder so I was interested in working at Daisy Chain and learning more about it on a practical level. Also, I love children and relate well to them.

“Daisy Chain was completely different to anything I had experienced before. I love it that’s why I have stayed so long,” she smiles.

Initially, Sue volunteered on activity days and school holiday clubs as well as fundraising. Over the last few years she has devoted two mornings a week to helping out in the Wednesday toddler session and Thursday’s crèche.

“I have really loved volunteering at Daisy Chain over the years. It has been a rewarding challenge, learning how to communicate with the children and being creative in how to do this if they are non-verbal. Now I love working with the little ones, I have watched some of them grow from babies, developing their own personalities.

“It is amazing what children achieve at Daisy Chain and it’s nice to be able to give the parents a little bit of a break when they can sit down and have a coffee. The parents are amazing and often they get very little time to themselves, so I feel like I am helping in my own small way.

“Daisy Chain has been, and still is, a big part of my life. It’s like being part of a family, an ever-growing family. It has grown so much since I started but it has never lost that family feeling. I would recommend volunteering at Daisy Chain to anyone – you really do feel as though you are part of something very special.”