A day in the life of a volunteer

Today I ran our fortnightly peer support group.   Four service users and a member of staff came along to the Eatswell Café in Barton.  We talked about good things and bad things.  X was moving to a new place in Durham, and was getting ready to start a new life after years of battling alcoholism.  His ‘bad thing’ was that he had tried to kill himself six weeks ago, but he had totally stopped drinking six days ago and was very pleased about that.

Y was getting ready to take his CSCS exam, about safety on the construction site.  If he passes that, he has a job at Westgate promised to him.  I have been helping him with the CSCS tutorials, and my hands are already stiff from crossing my fingers for him.

Z had recently become a Connection client, and was delighted to be off the street, out of the shelter and in her own room.  And A had been ill for weeks – his ‘bad thing’ – but says that he is going to another meeting this evening.

These are the service users that are making an effort.  I have also been asked to help with those that, for some reason, don’t.  But it is lovely for me to see people progressing: coming off their addictions, trying out new things, doing training courses, getting jobs.  Volunteering with Connection is tremendously rewarding.