“You do what?” I asked, jaw dropping and smacking the floor more than a little confounded and unable to quite process what I had just heard. Perhaps I had misheard. I hadn’t. “I volunteer 25 hours a week” came the reply. Boom! This figure had just blown my mind, so much so all I could do was repeat it back to them, in a much squeakier higher pitched voice that disturbed all the dogs in the vicinity. I have always given the hours that I can volunteering but 25 hours a week! The cogs of my brain tried to (slowly) turn and do the maths (iwork x + volunteer y = ) and tried to begin to comprehend the awesome generosity and commitment this individual has to something bigger than their self. I was awestruck. This person was motivated by community and by creating equal opportunities within their chosen interest.
Reflecting on this big figure and all that it may entail, I was hit by a second wave of wonderment even bigger than the first and it was this – in our SGLOSPC community I have met so many of these awesome committed individuals – all making a difference in whatever way they can, however much they can. What a privilege to be regularly surrounded by those who give freely of their time and energy to make sure that people get the support they need on their parent carer journey. There are those who run the coffee mornings, the amazing Little Treasures group, those who help to keep us organised at SGLOSPC HQ, those who organise and attend events and meetings and reach out to those they do not know, strangers because they are committed making sure that SGLOSPC is able to advocate, support and work towards improving our families experiences in South Glos. A couple of hours a week or a month or every few months, it is all amazing and appreciated. We couldn’t do it without them and they really are the spirit and embodiment of our community. The more we grow the more we are able to help and make positive change, thanks to our volunteers.
Our volunteers tell us that they too get so much in return too and not just payment in smiles and friendship: “I can help and offer the support that parents and carers like us need whilst I build up my confidence and work experience and my CV”. There are so many opportunities, all to suit the skills and confidence levels and time commitment that a person feels they have to offer, nobody expects the full 25 like our sports volunteer, that is really not typical hence my reaction, it could be a couple of hours here and there. SGPC offer all the support that is needed to feel confident and find a role with great volunteer induction training.
If you are at the stage in your journey where you have the spare time and the energy and are looking for a volunteering opportunity that fits in with your life and your family and their needs, and feel like doing it within your friendly supportive community just get in touch we would love to chat and welcome you. Drop our Development and Support Manager, Leonie, she most definitely loves a chat: firstname.lastname@example.org