To celebrate Volunteers’ Week 2022, I wanted to write about one of our brilliant volunteers here at Disability Positive. Our volunteers work in all kinds of different roles and for me, it’s one of the highlights of my job to work with so many different people and see them contribute their skills to our work while gaining new skills and confidence along the way.
Laura is one example. Laura volunteers for our Counselling and Befriending Service and has become a friendly face or voice on the phone for many people needing support during the pandemic.
Volunteer befrienders provide this service for Disability Positive clients either over the phone or face-to-face and it’s personalised to meet their needs, going out and about in the community, taking part in their hobbies, having a regular coffee and catch up or taking part in a weekly phone call.
Laura applied to volunteer with Disability Positive late last year and has been supporting people since January.
Laura was a stay-at-home mum for around 10 years and worked with autistic people before that. She says she has really enjoyed engaging with people in this way again and even doing the smallest of things can go such a long way.
Laura says that receiving ongoing training as a volunteer, has been great as it helps develop new skills and learn as you go on, and that it’s easy to volunteer as you can easily give people a call from the comfort of your own home.
Laura and the other volunteers that make the service happen have made a real difference to so many of the people they work with. Sandra, who is one of the users of the service says:
“I was feeling isolated and low before I got referred to Disability Positive. The process of matching me with a volunteer was straight forward and stress free.”
“I now have weekly phone calls with my volunteer, and we talk about anything and everything. I feel less isolated and more connected to the outside world. It really has had a positive effect on my mental health.”
Sandra’s experience really shows how important our volunteers are, a big THANK YOU to all of them! We really appreciate all your hard work and dedication.
If you’d like to volunteer, we would love to hear from you.
Click here for all our latest roles and how to apply.
Viki Atherton, Training and Volunteer Manager