As part of Volunteer Week celebrations, Third Sector D&G asked Lynne Edwards to share her thoughts on volunteering with us at D&G Befriending Project.
1 Name: Lynne Edwards
2 Organisation volunteering with and role:
D&G Befriending Project. Befriender of young people up to 18 years of age.
3 Length of time you have volunteered in this role:
4 What made you consider becoming a volunteer?
Having retired from a teaching role I wanted to do something involving children and young people.
5 What motivates you to continue volunteering?
Seeing the fun the young people have; watching them grow in confidence; helping them with their difficulties outside of a teaching role. Ultimately it’s great to be able to make a real difference in a young person’s life beyond just teaching them.
6 What impact has volunteering had on your life?
Having spent my teaching years educating children and young people it has been great to be able to have fun with them and to be able to get to know them and their families on a 1:1 basis. It has also enabled me to go to new places, meet new people and make new friends.
7 What skills have you brought to your role and what skills have you learned?
I have a wide knowledge of learning difficulties and disabilities as well as in-depth knowledge of safeguarding. I have learned to have fun and not take it seriously in the way one has to when teaching!
8 What else should a volunteer bring to a role?
Caring, compassion, the ability to listen and make the young person feel listened to. Often the young people come from families with issues so it’s so lovely to be able to enable them to relax and forget about the issues, even if it’s for only a few hours. I have found that the young people take a while to discover that it’s about them and what they want, but when it dawns on them it’s lovely.
9 What makes an organisation a great place to volunteer?
One which is organised and supportive. One which greatly cares about the cause they support. One which ensures its volunteers are well trained if required and have access to the information pertinent to the role. One which supports the volunteers when and if needed. One which shows appreciation to the volunteers for the work they do, and makes them feel valued.
10 What would you say to someone who is sitting on the fence about becoming a volunteer?
If the particular cause is one which is relevant to you, give it a try. You’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to gain. You will be volunteering with a group of like-minded people and you will meet new people and probably make new friends.
If you would like more information on us please feel free to contact us at email@example.com or call 01387 247812.
To share your volunteer profiles, message Third Sector D&G or email firstname.lastname@example.org