When I took early retirement I thought I would like to do some volunteer work but couldn’t be tied to specific days/times. I came across People First on the local volunteering website and it sounded flexible so I came to find out what it was all about.
At that time they were looking for volunteer Advocates – people who would go to care homes to visit residents who were not able to make decisions for themselves and had no one to speak for them. This appealed to me because my parents had both been in long term care at the end of their lives and I couldn’t imagine what it must be like for residents who had no one to visit them or look out for them.
Even though I had no prior experience of social care the People First team took me under their wing and trained me until I was able to make visits on my own. I’ve now been doing it for over 5 years now! It’s been great learning new skills and still feel I’m doing something useful.
The role has its challenges and its great rewards - the people I visit are very varied and I never know whether I’m going to be regaled with their life story, sung to, met with silence or told to leave in no uncertain terms! – but however the visit has gone the lovely people at People First are always available for support or just a good chat.
I set my own timetable and workload to fit in around my life and however much or little I do I always feel it’s appreciated, and I feel like part of the People First family.
If you’re thinking about volunteering, don’t hesitate to come here and find out about the many different opportunities there are here to help out, I’m so glad I did.