Volunteer Kingswood

Case Studies

Julia | Growing Support

Growing Support is a not for profit organisation passionate about tackling social isolation and loneliness experienced by people with social care and health needs, particularly amongst people suffering with dementia. Here is what Julia has to say about her volunteering experience at Growing support:

Why did you decide to volunteer at Growing Support?

It combines two things in my life, a love of gardening and a life long interest in people. I originally trained as an occupational therapist so I guess there has always been for me that thread of supporting people. Eventually I would love to be working in the community in a role that does that and I am sure this experience will help lead there.

What have you gained from volunteering?

I’ve learnt a lot about the value of supporting people based on what they can do, rather than what they can’t do. That’s actually been a valuable lesson for me in other work I do when I’m not volunteering. When we run the sessions we are bringing something interesting and new to the older people we work with. It’s a very tangible demonstration of bringing the community to the residents, showing that they haven’t been given up on, they are people worthy of our time and attention.

Would you recommend this type of volunteering to someone?

Oh, yes, I would. I feel like I am making good use of my skills. In the same way that we are giving the residents a sense of worth and achievement that’s what I am getting too.

Gary | Bristol Community Transport

Bristol Community Transport is Bristol’s largest community transport operator and a part of leading transport social enterprise HCT Group. From their depot in Parson Street, Bedminster they help the community to get out and about with a wide range of transport services. Here is what Gary has to say about his experience as a volunteer for Bristol Community Transport:

Why did you decide to volunteer for Bristol Community Transport?
Due to having to stop working, I wanted another challenge to keep me active and to give to others my support and help.

What is your favourite aspect of volunteering?
Dealing with different clients from all walks of life and ensure they enjoy their days out.

What are your key responsiblities?
I am responsible for the mini bus, fully checking it before leaving the yard, the health and safety of the passengers and mobility appliances they bring, driving the clients to and from their trips with the utmost safety.

What skills have you got out of volunteering?
I have learnt so far from volunteering that it’s like going on a people management course, because you work with all different people, of all ages, abilities and temperaments.

What would you say to somebody who is considering volunteering?
I would say to anyone thinking of volunteering: have a go, because it’s not only you that improves in yourself, but you get satisfaction from being able to give to others.

Bea | Volunteer Centre Kingswood

Volunteer Centre Kingswood has a team of volunteers who support some of the administrative tasks of the centre. Bea has been volunteering here for about 3 months. 

What led you to start volunteering with Volunteer Centre Kingswood, in this role?

I have done many volunteer jobs in the past, such as the National Star College doing front and back office admin and being a receptionist. I’ve also volunteered at the Bistro (which is a café/restaurant) Front of House and in the back office and they also had a mini shop which I use to help out in too.

I used to volunteer at WECIL doing admin to help people with their benefits problems.

I started working with my support job coach who told me about this role. I visited Southern Brooks office and asked for information about any roles that I could possibly do which were around admin. I liked the sound of the volunteer role, so I applied and got accepted.

I now volunteer for the Volunteer Centre Kingswood at Southern Brooks to follow up with organisations about their volunteer placements.

What have you gained from volunteering? 

The main thing I am gaining from doing this volunteer role is building my confidence up. My computer skills have improved when using the database. I did have some hard phone calls but I believe I managed it well and this made me feel confident so if it happens again, then I know how to deal with challenging customers.

What would you say to someone thinking about this type of volunteering?

Go for it! If you’d like to build up your computer skills and like doing admin and telephone work. I’d recommend talking to the person who’s going to employ you. Ask about the role that you’d be interested in and possibly could do. If you’re worried about any of the tasks, you can always ask for help or an instruction sheet. Feel confident 🙂

Jules | Volunteer Centre Kingswood/Southern Brooks

Jules is also a volunteer for Volunteer Centre Kingswood/Southern Brooks and has been volunteering with us since 2010, back before Community Ignite changed its name and merged with Southern Brooks. 

What led you to start volunteering with Volunteer Centre Kingswood, in this role?

I initially started out as a minute taker for the monthly meetings for a charity called Chase Kings Forest Community Project (circa 2010). The charity changed its name a few years ago to Community Ignite, but has also since moved premises and merged with Southern Brooks. Before the merger I had progressed onto doing more admin based work, such as database upkeep and record filing. Over the last 2 or 3 years I have been doing more social media and website stuff.

What have you gained from volunteering? 

I have always been interested in charity work and have previously volunteered for Help the Aged and also Meningitis UK. It’s good to be of service to other people, and volunteering gives me a sense of community focus and purpose.

What would you say to someone thinking about this type of volunteering?

Volunteering is great for your wellbeing. I would recommend it to anyone. There is always someone out there who would benefit from your skills and experience; and regardless of where you are in life, your background, or your age, we all have skills and experience to offer.