Spotlight on: Volunteers’ Week
It’s Volunteers’ Week and to mark the occasion, we caught up with some of our volunteers to share their volunteer story. So if you’re thinking about volunteering, keep reading!
Why do you volunteer for Waverley Care?
Jim: “For me, if you’re giving up your time to do something, it has to be two things – enjoyable and worthwhile; Waverley Care definitely gets top score on both of these!”
Matt: “When I came up here I had hepatitis C and I linked in with Waverley Care. They took me through my treatment and were there to help and support me through it so it’s close to my heart.”
Siobhan: “I wanted to learn more about HIV, hep C and also gain more experience.”
Kevin: “I wanted to volunteer because I went through treatment myself with great support from Waverley Care, and I wanted to give something back. I also wanted to get more insight into Hep C and HIV and I have gotten that through my volunteering.”
What have you learned?
Jim: “Lots of things! For example, not to be tempted to pre-judge people; and, also, just how resilient and caring and generous the vast majority of people are.”
Matt: “I’ve learned loads because I’ve been down to Edinburgh to do the training over four weeks, so I’ve learned about stuff like blood-borne viruses and listening skills. We learned a lot in the group about active listening and reaffirming things back to people to let them know you’re listening so they can hear what they’ve actually said. It’s given me a lot of self-esteem and confidence. I love it, and I get treated like staff!”
Siobhan: “I’ve learned to transfer calls and have more confidence answering calls.”
Kevin: “I have learned loads! I’ve learned about the importance of being accountable. I’ve learned skills that helped me to gain employment like, communication, punctuality and reliability. This place has been massive for me.”
What have you enjoyed the most?
Jim: “Working with such a wide variety of people – service users, staff, other volunteers – from a whole range of ages and backgrounds….. what they all have in common is that they’re all really nice people and great fun to be with.”
Matt: “I’ve enjoyed all of it if I’m really honest! I’ve been out helping people get to their hospital appointments, doing presentations in services and helping with the one to one side of testing. I just love it all because I’ve done volunteering all over, but if you don’t give me something to sink my teeth into I get bored and feel like ‘this isn’t really for me’. But from day go, it’s been like ‘we want you to this, we want you to do that’ so yeah, I enjoy it.”
Siobhan: “Meeting loads of new people.”
Kevin: “I’ve enjoyed facilitating awareness sessions and giving harm reduction advice. I’m now going into services that I have had my own personal experience with, but now as a volunteer to help people. I sometimes think “I’m really doing this!” and it’s really rewarding.”
What would you like to tell other people who might be thinking about volunteering?
Jim: “Go ahead and give it a go! With Waverley Care, you’ll always be well supported in everything you do; and you’ll find that your contribution, as a volunteer, will always be valued.”
Matt: “I’d tell them to go for it! If it’s volunteering, in general, I’d say try a bit of everything, try something and if you don’t like it move on. I’ve actually said it to people when they ask me what I do out and about, I say I volunteer with Waverley Care and they say ‘what’s that all about?’ and I say its brilliant mate, the best place I’ve been. I recommend this to anyone volunteering, its something you’ll really enjoy.”
Siobhan: “It’s a really great experience volunteering for such a wonderful charity, the staff are so nice.”
Kevin: “I would tell them that they’ll get loads of growth from it and that they would really enjoy it!”
If you would like to know more about volunteering with us, you can find out more here or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.