The work of volunteers plays a vital role in making our town a unique and vibrant place. We are delighted to be sharing with you a collection of volunteering stories to highlight and celebrate some of the work done by charities and volunteers.
Sally has been coordinating a small team of volunteers in order to provide a shopping service for those in need during lockdown. Sally is the Church Warden at St Michael’s Church in Tilehurst. She describes how, when Covid-19 hit, they started thinking about how to help the congregation and the local community and when RVA contacted about running the shopping scheme in conjunction with the council it provided the perfect structure for helping those in need.
Sally has extensive experience in the voluntary sector. Volunteering has been a huge part of her life ever since she was growing up, starting with volunteering in a care home. Having been involved in organisations from committee roles to hands-on experiences such as these, every aspect of voluntary work is equally as important as the next. Sally notes that this early volunteering experience influenced her in her decision to become a social worker. She believes that volunteering can often make you more aware of career opportunities you may want to take. Sally describes many of the skills she has developed while volunteering at various roles have now filtered through to her day job and vice versa, really emphasising the personal growth element that comes hand in hand with voluntary work.
One of the many benefits of volunteering is the opportunity to interact with and socialise with people you may never normally have encountered in your daily life. Sally describes how this has allowed her to develop how she relates to such a diverse range of people. On a more practical level you can learn so much about where you are volunteering, for example, Sally describes how she learnt a lot about diabetes while volunteering in a hospital taking food to patients. Volunteering exposes you to experiences and knowledge you may not have come across otherwise. Whilst volunteering undoubtedly gives you skills you are also able to impart the skills and knowledge you already possess into the role you are at and can really make a difference to so many people’s lives. Sally explains how it is not only the people you are helping that can get a lot from volunteering, but you yourself are able to benefit from your work. This is what makes volunteering so rewarding and satisfying.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Sally for all the voluntary work she has done.
Inspired by Sally’s story? Take a look at www.rgneeds.me to find the role for you!