Volunteers are an integral part of the support we offer at Connection Support. There really is no typical volunteer, we believe that everyone has something valuable to offer. Which is why we’ve been asking some of our volunteers to share their experiences with us and their decision around why they have chosen to give their time to help our clients…
Tell us about your volunteer role, and how long you have been volunteering with Connection Support?
I have been volunteering as part of Connection Support for approximately six months now. My volunteering role is that of the Telephone Befriender.
What made you decide to apply to volunteer with us?
My passion for helping other people, especially those with certain vulnerabilities, was the first thing that motivated me to become a volunteer for Connection Support. As a psychology student, I am overwhelmed by the nature and tendency to offer unconditional support and empathy to anyone who is in need of a friend or even a casual listener.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
One of the things I enjoy most about being a volunteer is the opportunity to listen to what my clients have to share with me, even if that is either personal or not. I believe that listening to what others have to say can help them explore their thoughts and feelings and make them feel better either about whatever agonises them every day or in subjects for which they are trying to find a solution. Offering small pieces of advice is the second thing I enjoy most about volunteering. Sharing experiences or offering tips can help clients feel understood and make them realise that I am not only hearing their problems but instead, listening in depth.
What have you gained from volunteering?
Through volunteering, I have learned how to create a safe space between my client and myself. Connecting with people offers both the chance to feel as if they are a part of a non-judgmental space, in which the client can freely talk and share information without feeling scared of my behaviour. Another thing I have gained is the understanding that some people don’t need someone to offer them solutions to problems or advice, but instead, they just need some company, a person which will actively listen to their experiences and news, and a distraction from their everyday life.
What advice would you give to someone else who was thinking about volunteering at Connection Support?
Connection Support will give you a great and unique opportunity to achieve connection with people who are in need of someone, either as a companion or a listener. If you’re interested in providing altruistic help and advice and also have a little bit of time to listen and devote to a person on a weekly basis, then volunteering with Connection Support is what you’re searching for.
We have a host of volunteer opportunities across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes to suit different time commitments, interests and experiences. Some require specific skills, some a longer-term commitment and others you can do on an occasional basis. Each opportunity has a description so you see what the role requires. Fill in our contact form and your local Volunteer Coordinator will be in touch to chat through the role you have identified, or find a role based on your skills, interests, location and availability.