From a Volunteer’s Perspective

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Today we hear from Darren, one of our volunteers.

I’ve been with Volunteer Link for around four and a half years, which have been happy, but testing, at times.

I started volunteering as I felt it’s important to help others in the community. Time is one of the most precious commodities in my busy life and an organisation that only needed a couple of hours a week was one attraction of Volunteer Link. In my profession I make decisions that sometimes have an unfavourable impact on people’s lives, so helping others through Volunteer Link provides balance.

Through volunteering I have met the most amazing folk! Everybody has a novel inside them and by spending time with new friends I am discovering secrets and untold stories that have never previously been shared. I often find myself teaching clients the benefits of new technology and how, in so many different ways, these can open new windows onto the world. The senior generation are fascinated by ‘Google’ and the information it can retrieve; often this triggers faded or forgotten memories. Sometimes I find the reason why my new friend has arrived at Volunteer Link a challenge coupled with having to deal with family members who, for whatever reason, are not so charitable with their time.

I’m always battling against the clock to arrive at my visit on time and have been most fortunate that my clients are understanding and forgiving!

Through volunteering I have learnt to be more patient and not to prejudge others. As a society we should not give up and abandon older and isolated people as we fight against the growing pressures of daily life. Their personalities and love remain, it takes just a small strike to ignite and they can be given the opportunity to enjoy life again.

I have received invaluable support from the office, both in times when a dear friend passed away and mentoring chats (Jill is a STAR). I find the socials invaluable, they always throw up new stories and experiences which you can take forward and adopt.

Many thanks Darren, this is a great insight into your volunteering experience at Volunteer Link.

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