Volunteering Reviews

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Befriender

Organisation: Friendship Works (formerly Friends United Network)
Date: 31 January 2011

Activity:
I befriend a young person from a deprived single parent family. I take them out of the home on visits most weekends. My role is to be both a friend and mentor to them - a stable adult influence whom they can talk to, trust and ask for advice; someone to asct as a role model and braoden thie horizons; but also someone to have fun with.
Comments:
This organisation works with young people in deprived and chaotic circumstances - beacuse of this it is not always easy and there have been stressful and challenging moments, but also rewarding ones. I have someone to ask for advice and share any concerns with - the one time a serious issue arose I felt supported by my case worker and they brought the solution to a positive conclusion. It does require a time commitment, both in terms of the length of visits, but also time committed to your match to provide stability and longevity (you must commit to 2 years). That said it is rewarding and I see the difference in my match. On the whole I have great fun with them and I end up doing activities I wouldn't otherise get the chance to - it opens both our horizons!
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

Independent Visitor

Organisation: NYAS National Youth Advocacy Service
Date: 25 January 2011

Activity:
My volunteer role is to work with Looked After Children, those in foster care. I take a young lady out twice a month. We go to the cinema, bowling, for long walks with my two doggies or for lunch or dinner. The young lady in question has had a number of foster homes, and although she is now settled, it helps for her to have another adult to chat to. I have been doing this role for 3 years and Im now onto my 2nd young person. I enjoy it so much my partner and I have decided to apply to do part time fostering and have recently attended foundation training. I enjoy my time and feel that Ive made a difference, it also allow me to do things I wouldnt do on my own. There is a payment for travel and any costs incurred.
Comments:
Would recommend to anyone who has a little spare time - evenings/weekends and enjoys the company of young people.

A fantastic service, long may it continue.
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

Gardening

Organisation: Trinity Hospice
Date: 25 January 2011

Activity:
Gardening, two days a week, ongoing commitment
Comments:
A real privilege to do this. Beautiful large gardens, maintained to a high standard, still some development. A good social atmosphere among full-time gardener and lively group of volunteers, - no doubt helped by a communal tea break each volunteering day! Contact with patients and families very much controlled by them: some happy to settle for a cheery good morning, others want to chat - and a beautiful garden provides lots of positive things to chat about! Personal benefits to me include making a difference, enjoyment of the garden, feeling part of a community, and keeping fit.
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

Pilgrim Record Secretary and office help

Organisation: Confraternity of St. James
Date: 25 January 2011

Activity:
I received postal applications for the issue of pilgrim records to those making a walking or cycling pilgrimage to Santiago di Compostela in Galicia (Northern Spain). I also help with the office open days assisting potential pilgrims plan their route and with stuffing the quarterly newsletter mailings.
Comments:
A wonderful way to help an organisation that helped me when I made the pilgrimage. It is important to be very accurate and to understand the importance of the pilgrim record (it opens doors to refuges, medical services and the cathedral itself). You get to share in the hopes of the would-be first-time pilgrims who often need some help in understanding the issues that will arise.
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

Group Treasurer

Organisation: Overton Scout Group
Date: 25 January 2011

Activity:
Act as treasurer for a large Scout Group in North Hampshire including managing and reconciling the central bank accounts, paying bills and receiving memberships, claiming Gift Aid refunds and advising section leaders on how to manage their finances as required.
Comments:
It is a very worthwhile job that supports the provision of essential activities to the village children and helps keep alive a 100 year old village organisation. When there have been issues the District, County and National Associations offer help including a national website and telephone help but it is not the most user friendly system. Nevertheless one can usually get the advice needed eventually
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

IV for NYAS

Organisation: NYAS National Youth Advocacy Service
Date: 24 January 2011

Activity:
I am an independent visitor.
Comments:
Volunteering has always been the most rewarding of my activities and NYAS showed me a new way of exploring that world. The training was perfect to get started in the program and get to know the area and your role better, and it was very nicely organized. The support given by Suzanne and Caroline is fantastic giving a very warm approach to the program. It is indeed a great experience for you as a person and for the young person, and i strongly recommend it to anyone. It develops your skills, broadens your mind and allows you to meet very interesting people. I'm sure you would not be let down.
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

IV for NYAS

Organisation: NYAS National Youth Advocacy Service
Date: 24 January 2011

Activity:
Volunteer as an Independent Visitor to a young person in care.
Comments:
I have been an independent visitor with the same young person for over four and a half years now. We have fun together and explore new places and activities. Training was good and support from co-ordinator and administrator is excellent. I would recommend to anyone who is thinking of this type of work.
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

Mentor 6th formers

Organisation: Envision - London
Date: 24 January 2011

Activity:
The students chose a fund raising project and I sat in on the weekly meetings to basically steer them in the right direction without taking over. Also ensured order was kept and that the students were respectful to each other and listened to other's views.
Comments:
I really enjoyed volunteering as it has given me a different view of life as a teenager. I also learned a lot about myself such as how my experience in the business world could be adapted to mentoring teenagers. Overall an excellent experience and Envision are a wonderful organisation.
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

Digitall Mentor

Organisation: TimeBank
Date: 23 January 2011

Activity:
I helped an older woman familiarise herself and get comfortable with using the computer and the Internet.
Comments:
Volunteering as a Digitall Mentor was an amazing experience. My mentee is no longer afraid of the computer. She can find her way on Google Maps, communicate with her family in Australia, send gifts through Amazon and Snapfish, and solve her crosswords with the help of Wikipedia. Being able to see the excitement of learning new things and to share the joy of achievement was priceless.
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

volunteer services officer

Organisation: Trinity Hospice
Date: 23 January 2011

Activity:
I volunteer to help raise awareness of recruitment drives to the shops across the Trinity Network.
Comments:
It is a great experience to volunteer for Trinity. For any small effort I make, I always get 'paid back' a hundred fold.
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again