Thinking about Volunteering?
This is the first post in an occassional series that brings you experiences and insights about volunteering, from people who have recently taken up a role.
Today’s words of wisdom are from David who recently signed up via Volunteer First as a Walking Befriender with MHA.
MHA (the Methodist Homes Association) is a charity offering volunteer based support and friendship to older people living in their own homes; helping to maintain independent living, improve well-being and reduce isolation and loneliness.
Walking Befrienders were needed to help out at various Walking Groups in different areas of Winchester, during the week. Volunteers were asked to take a small group of members (or one to one) for a short walk and possibly a stop at a café for refreshments.
We asked David a little bit more about why he wanted to volunteer and how he went about it?
Why did you decide you wanted to volunteer?
It was a variety of things. I’d done some volunteering about 20 years ago and despite that ending always thought I’d like to return one day and see if my time could be spent helping others. I have no specific skills to offer but knew during the pandemic that loneliness had become an issue especially for those shielding and thought it would be good to make new friends and help with these challenges
Was there a lot of choice of volunteer roles or did you have a specific idea in mind?
I was really pleasantly surprised by the number of roles but I wanted to start locally in my community and with something I could commit to and to be honest start quickly without too much training. As soon as I saw the befriender option I knew it was for me
Were there any difficulties or barriers to finding a volunteer role?
Nothing at all even with social distancing the process was simple and logical for me
Was it easy to apply, what did you have to do?
Very simple, from online to telephone conversation then induction and approval it went well and there was help at every step for a newbie like me
What have been the best bits about volunteering so far?
I am just getting matched with my first walking friend so I’ll be back in touch to update but I know it will be a sense that by taking time out to help others in any way makes you more grounded and less consumed by my own mini trials and tribulations
What advice would you give other people who think they may want to volunteer?
Take a look at what there is out there and go with your instinct when you read about a volunteering role. Dont start by offering too much time or effort but get started and build up as you understand and appreciate what’s involved and then you’ll hopefully stay the course and grow what you do and who and how you can help
Was it helpful to you using the Volunteer Service/the Volunteer First website and would you recommend them to others?
It was and I would 100% recommend this as its packed with info to make sure you understand what you can do with videos and the FAQ section ensuring you go into it with your eyes open and can appreciate the difference people already volunteering make to so many lives in your community every day.
Thank you David, we’re really happy that you found such a great role.
For more information on this role please follow the link above. To find out about some of the other 400 volunteering opportunities available across Hampshire simply visit the home page of this site or conatct us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0300 500 8085