Minister of the Month – Maz Wright
Meet our Minister of the Month for September. Maz is a super committed Deputy Writing Mentor, Admin Assistant, and all round amazing person whose enthusiasm is supercharged by coffee.
Name: Maizy Wright but everyone calls me Maz.
Volunteer role: Deputy Writing Mentor and Admin Assistant
Hail from: Grimsby
Favourite story and why:
Blimey! Thats a tough one. I’m going to have to say: ‘Grief is the thing with Feathers’ by Max Porter.
A fantastic novella of a scruffy romantic father grieving the loss of his wife with his sons when Crow – self-described antagonist, trickster, healer, and babysitter – knocks on their door and threatens to stay until they no longer need him.
I loved it so much I have forced it upon multiple friends and family so that someone will talk about it with me.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Omnipotent, but an apathetic underachiever with a serious coffee addiction and 8 missed morning alarms.
Why did you decide to volunteer with Ministry of Stories?
I was looking for a volunteering opportunity that would be new and challenging for me. A friend actually started volunteering and she recommended me to start; the words she used were ‘You will love it’, and I did instantly.
Were you nervous about anything before starting?
I was a little apprehensive about how to talk to the young writers. I hadn’t had much interaction with children before and that seemed quite daunting. On my first day another veteran mentor said, ‘Just talk to them like people, they’re not aliens!’ Sound advice.
What has been the best experience of volunteering?
Hard to pin point a ‘best’ experience, but what jumps to mind is watching the growth of the children. I’ve been a consistent Tuesday group mentor and over the last few years kids that used to shrink away from reading-out are now the first to perform.
What has been the most unexpected thing about volunteering?
I thought I would be good with imagination and creativity, but I actually discovered that my talent lies with problem solving. I have created multiple strategies that many mentors now use for children in conflict, hiding under tables or going non-verbal.
When the young people and me can work through an issue together, that is when I think I’m most proud.
Has volunteering changed anything in your life?
Volunteering at Ministry of Stories has had such a tremendous impact on my life. I never thought that I wanted to work with children but after these last few years I am now actively seeking out those opportunities. I am moving to Vietnam for 6 months to teach English to children all thanks to the Ministry, which has given me a safe and encouraging environment in which to grow.
Describe the Ministry of Stories in three words:
Exciting, Important, Friendly.
What would you say to other people thinking of volunteering with the Ministry?
Do it. Definitely do it. There is no harm in coming along and seeing if the Ministry is for you.