Chelsey – from volunteering to coordinating volunteers

Chelsey – from volunteering to coordinating volunteers

After seven years as an Art Director for London advertising agencies, Chelsey took the plunge and left the city, in search of a more meaningful career. Just a few weeks later, the Covid-19 lockdown was announced.

“I found myself full of excited energy and no outlet for it. After searching for local voluntary work I came across a Time To Talk Befriending advert for volunteer befrienders on the Community Works website. I immediately felt a connection to the charity. Growing up, I was lucky to be part of a large, close-knit family, but even as a child, I found the idea of loneliness deeply upsetting. In recent years, chronic loneliness is something which has affected both myself and close family members, making it a cause sincerely close to my heart.”

After volunteering as a befriender for just a few weeks the position of volunteer co-ordinator became available at TTTB. Chelsey applied for the role…

“During the interview I instantly felt at ease, like I could be myself and like this opportunity was just meant to be. You can imagine my delight when I found out I had been successful!”

“I’ve only been in the role for three months, but I already love it and I’m sure I always will! I help new volunteers through their application process and regularly touch base with them to ensure they are enjoying their befriending experience. I really want our volunteers to know they can come to me with any query or concern and that I will always be happy to help. I appreciate how comforting it can be to know there is someone you can turn to should you ever need them. Being this person for our volunteers is my favourite part of the role. I really can’t wait to meet them all in person once it’s safe to begin our volunteer events again!”

Chelsey still makes time to call her ‘telephone befriendee’ – “a lovely gentleman, currently living in isolation.”

“We have quite a bit in common, have overcome similar struggles, and have developed a real friendship. I feel he has opened up to me, knowing there will be no judgement on my part. I’m not sure he has ever had anyone tell him what an inspiration he is and I’m glad I can do this. Our calls are genuinely a highlight of my week. He makes me laugh and I too feel uplifted after speaking with him.”

“When I was considering befriending, I knew how much it would benefit an older person, but I had no idea how much it would benefit me and my life. Volunteering has helped develop my self-esteem more than anything I’ve ever done. I hate to use this cliché, but it’s really helped me ‘find myself’. I have always had an internal battle of head versus heart, and this year heart finally came out on top. I’m so glad it did as this has led me to become a part of an amazing charity, which feels like a family to me.”

“When I was considering befriending, I knew how much it would benefit an older person, but I had no idea how much it would benefit me and my life. Volunteering has helped develop my self-esteem more than anything I’ve ever done.”

“When I was considering befriending, I knew how much it would benefit an older person, but I had no idea how much it would benefit me and my life. Volunteering has helped develop my self-esteem more than anything I’ve ever done.”

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