Having been forced to give up the daily slog into London, it comes as a shock to the system when I have to do it. Especially as it is part of my volunteering process.But my goodness there is such a fantastic payback by the end of the day! I have had a lot of conversations regarding volunteering recently, and I can only say to anyone who is considering it, Just Do It!!
On most Wednesdays, I meet a lot of volunteers at different stages of their journey. Some starting out, and others seeking a change of direction. Some are university graduates, others are older people looking to continue using their skills whilst looking for work.Each one with their own motivation. A lot of people get involved, because they or their friends/family have been touched by cancer, others don’t have any connection at all.
The greatest thing for me about the work I do is that I can see what a difference I can make to peoples lives. Sometimes the thing that people crave most is a listening ear, not an automated email response.I have seen people who have come in, totally lacking self confidence, and within a few weeks they are a different person.
With both my business skills and cancer experience, I guess I am in a slightly unique position, and can understand most peoples motivation for volunteering. I seem to be getting more busy as the weeks go by and am speaking to more and more people up and down the country, who want to get involved. all with different skills to offer.I hear so many touching stories and I feel extremely privileged that people want to share their experiences with me.
There are times when there are just not enough suitable roles around, or in the right location, to suit the people who want to volunteer. Sometimes their requests are very specific and we are unable to find a role at that time. A lot of people struggle to understand that if they want to give their time for nothing, that there is not a role for them. People forget that volunteers need training and managing which takes time and money. If it is not done professionally, neither the volunteer or the organisation will have a positive experience.
I was very moved yesterday, by a young person I had the pleasure to meet, and am never failed to be amazed at the special people that are out there.Such determination to overcome adversity. Just incredible!!
For the above reasons, and the wonderful people I work with, wherever I am, thank you for encouraging me and helping me do what I do.
Feel free to join the community and let me know, what motivates you???
I am an official support partner of the Grove Hotel in Bournemouth. The only hotel in the UK specifically for people affected by cancer and other life limiting conditions.