A volunteer’s experience

A volunteer’s experience

When I retired, I searched for a volunteering opportunity which would help me to use the skills I have and at the same time feel useful to the organisation I was volunteering with. Hence, I applied to join the volunteer centre team at Community Works.

Since joining the team, I’ve progressed from being a purely administrative volunteer to being a senior volunteer. Everyone is so friendly, and I’ve found the organisation to be very supportive and appreciative, and very proactive in developing myself and the other volunteers here. I now have a wider understanding of the voluntary sector as a result of volunteering here.

I work with three other volunteers to provide a brokerage service between local organisations requiring volunteers and members of the public who wish to volunteer.

Our team follows good practice guidelines on confidentiality and equality to answer enquiries from members of the public who are from a range of different backgrounds. We regularly help people who need a little bit of extra help and advice to find a volunteering opportunity, such as ex-offenders, people with a long-term health condition or disability, people with English as a second language, people who are long-term unemployed, as well as short-term visitors to the local area.

We give everyone a bespoke service and tailor the advice and information we give them to meet their needs and to help them find a volunteering opportunity which is right for them. It often involves extensive researching and follow-up telephone calls or emails.

Volunteering has so many benefits including improving health and happiness. It should be fun and not a chore. Getting involved in your local community, helping local people and causes, can be inspiring. You can make new friends and develop new skills.

With over 200 volunteer opportunities available locally it can be difficult to know where to start your search. We suggest looking at causes and issues that are important to you, and considering what skills you have to offer and what you want to get out of volunteering. Part of finding the right volunteering opportunity is being honest about what you hope to learn and accomplish. Also, think about how much time you can realistically give. Volunteering doesn’t have to be long term commitment – even small amounts of time can have a big impact.

Five years later, and I am still happy volunteering here. I gain a sense of achievement and satisfaction in my role, and in the knowledge that I’ve personally helped people to find a volunteering opportunity which meets their needs, and which will have so many positive benefits for both the volunteer, the organisation they volunteer with, and the wider community.

 

Written by Brenda, matching and guidance advice volunteer

We’re always looking for new volunteers, why not volunteer with us?

“Five years later, and I am still happy volunteering here. I gain a sense of achievement and satisfaction in my role, and in the knowledge that I've personally helped people to find a volunteering opportunity.”

“Five years later, and I am still happy volunteering here. I gain a sense of achievement and satisfaction in my role, and in the knowledge that I've personally helped people to find a volunteering opportunity.”

NEXT | Influencing local spending plans for 2016-2017

We worked with our members and the Council to help identify issues in their spending plans for 2016-2017.