Volunteer Case Studies
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“I’ve worked all my life as a warehouse man, driving all over the country. During those long days I’d looked forward to my retirement, but no sooner had it arrived, the novelty wore off! I hated having nothing to get up for in the mornings and soon found myself at a loose end. That’s when I started to think about what skills I could offer through volunteering.
“Lynda, the Manager at Ferncliffe Road, has been a friend for many years and so she suggested that I use my experience and volunteer to drive their mini-bus. I thought it was a great idea and I now volunteer five days a week, taking the guys out to whatever activities they have on; whether it be a few hours at their day centre, an afternoon shopping or even horse-riding lessons!
“Lots of people ask me why I’m not using my retirement to sit back and relax but that would leave me bored and restless. I love volunteering, it keeps me busy and I’ve made great friends with the staff at the service who all treat me like one of their team. I’ve got a lot of respect for what the support staff do; it’s a hard job and if I can make it a little bit easier by freeing up some of their time helping out with driving, then I’m quite happy!”
“My husband and Mary’s elderly friend were both cared for at Amberleigh House,” explains Beryl. “The way the staff here looked after our loved ones will stay with us forever and that’s why we both volunteer now, to try, in our own little way, to say thanks.”
“We help with activities like bingo, reminiscence sessions and sing-a-longs,” says Mary. “Dementia can be a very sad illness, but our role means that we can make our residents lives happier.”
And it’s not just the residents who Beryl and Mary help, residents’ families also benefit from their personal experiences. “We know how it feels to place a loved one in a home, so we are able to empathise with families, offering them support and reassurance,” says Beryl.
Mary agrees, “I think it is important when you retire that you do something of real purpose and value. That is why it is such a pleasure volunteering at Amberleigh House, where our work is both valued and valuable.”
“I enjoyed my degree course, but after I graduated, I was still unsure about what to do next. The media side of my degree was my real passion, but I had also enjoyed learning more about community care issues”, explains Laura. “Gaining a placement at CIC meant that I could pursue my passion for media and marketing, but in the social care sector,”
“The marketing team encouraged me to get involved in some really exciting projects; I helped write and design an edition of You First magazine, wrote news stories for the website and also attended an awards conference to help promote CIC,” says Laura. “Having the opportunity to work in the marketing department of a big national organisation helped me decide that this was definitely where I wanted to take my career.”
Laura believes that volunteering adds value to the CV of new graduates in this difficult job market. “Shortly after the placement, I got my dream job, working in marketing. The practical experience I gained during my placement was a huge factor in helping me secure my new role, as I was able to show employers that I could put into practice what I learned on my degree.”