All my working life was linked to young children and their families. I knew that if, or rather when, I became a volunteer, children would be a crucial factor in my choice of organisation. So with that in mind I applied to attend an open day at Children's Hospice South West.
Walking around Little Bridge House I was struck by the welcoming ethos of a very colourful, caring environment which demonstrated a commitment to family centred support. An attention to detail was evident and was supported by sensitive procedures. The indoors and grounds showed an imaginative use of space, offering a range of age appropriate activities/facilities for children and their families to enjoy whilst spending time together and making precious memories. By the end of the tour at Little Bridge House my decision was made, I left taking a volunteer form with me.
Once the usual checks had been completed I started weekly volunteering in HR from May 2015.
The word volunteer can be described in many ways such as:
- a person who chooses freely to do, or offers to do, something.
- a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task.
- someone who does work without being paid for it – because they want to.
I look forward to my weekly visits, volunteering has provided a range of opportunities. It has offered the chance to revisit old skills alongside learning new ones. Over time it has been good to put faces to names within the organisation. I am made to feel very welcome and part of the team, being greeted with a smile, followed shortly after with the offer of a coffee. I always ask if I need clarification as nothing would be worse than if I added to the HR workload rather than helping it! There is a sense of achievement if by the end of my time I leave a clear desk as a result of completing various tasks.
I have met other volunteers at the annual tea where it’s been great to chat to others and hear about the range of voluntary tasks undertaken. We are like human pieces of a jigsaw puzzle joining together to support the over arching aims of CHSW, everyone giving their time to support an inspiring organisation.
Recently I spotted a word plaque in a local card shop. “Happiness comes not from what you have but how much you give”... maybe another definition for volunteer?
It is said that the only thing which cannot be recycled... is time.
So, if you have any spare time please think about volunteering. It’s a win-win situation, you gain and so does CHSW, enabling it to continue its wonderful work of 'making the most of short and precious lives'.