I’d like to share my volunteering story so far of what it’s like to be a volunteer in the hope it may encourage others to have a go too.
I’ve always worked, even had my first job as a newspaper girl aged 13 & never not worked since until last year! This was a bit alien to me, it didn’t feel right, not natural, to be sat at home & for some of it being paid whilst on furlough. Homeschooling was hard at first but we all soon found a rhythm & settled into the flow well. Then I felt a bit redundant again, so when I saw they were asking for volunteers to help out with marshalling at Folca & Civic Centre, I jumped at the chance.
I was nervous, I must confess. I wasn’t sure what to expect, what I’d have to do, would I even be safe? But I was getting a bit bored at home, I needed to do something, I needed to talk to other people, I needed to feel like I was helping in some way, so I signed up & I haven’t looked back since!
My first shift was at Folca in the waiting room, cleaning down the chairs & generally making sure everyone was OK. Part way through this shift I swapped this for the ramp which is just before the waiting room. I could see the whole operation at work! It was amazing to watch. I was in awe! But the moment when I realised I was part of something truly amazing was at the 2pm shift change, when at the top of those beautiful Debenhams stairs came a sea of blue uniforms coming down to swap shifts. I felt quite overwhelmed by this sight & even a bit emotional, absolutely amazing!
It’s a great way to help people, everyone is so grateful for being there & I’ve met some really lovely people along the way. The nurses are fab, we have a giggle, we have a dance & even sing a song sometimes, it’s a long day for them otherwise.
I’ve also been lucky enough to volunteer at the boys Harvey Grammar, assisting the school on testing the children ready for their return. I had to complete 5 online modules which trained & tested me on how to assist & record results of the Lateral Flow tests. Again another amazing opportunity to be a part of this & glad I could help out.
Even though I am looking for part time work, I still want to be able to continue to volunteer when I can.
If you want to get involved somehow but wasn’t sure, maybe I’ve answered some of those concerns for you. You can pick & choose your shifts & location to suit you & it would be lovely to see you there.
Thank-you to all the nurses & everyone who makes this volunteering happen.