Freely giving time as a volunteer to support others can be a very rewarding experience. For some, it offers the chance to give something back to the community by supporting others or causes of interest, and for others it’s about meeting new people, learning new skills or just having some fun!
For Steve, a volunteer in our Adult Social Care Communications Team, it was about learning new skills to help people in a different sort of way. Steve, a Support Worker from Ripon, said:
“Back in December I wanted a bit of a change in my career, still working around vulnerable adults but supporting them in a different way. I got in touch with the council’s Adult Social Care Communications Team who were happy for me to come and volunteer.
“For one day a week, I’m able to exchange my graphic design skills, knowledge and experience in exchange for the team’s expertise in all things communications and marketing. During my time here, I’ve been challenged and tested in the area I find most difficult, namely creative writing. Through guidance and support I’ve been carrying out interviews and I’ve written for the Better Lives blog (you may remember the piece about Stocks Hill day centre!). I’ve also just finished some design work for the upcoming Tour De France which was really exciting to work on.
“The role has been varied and I’ve met some lovely people along the way. I would advise anyone who fancies a change to start by volunteering for a taster of what it’s all about. From this experience, I’ve realised that Leeds City Council is somewhere I would like to work.”
Steve’s skills have helped the team in ways we didn’t expect either. He has bought a new perspective to the table, challenging us to think differently; he’s creative and witty with his design which has given us fresh approach in the way we do things. It’s also helped us to save money because we don’t always have to rely on other agencies, so ultimately everyone benefits!
If you feel inspired to give volunteering a go, you could start by looking on the Doing Good Leeds website.
West Yorkshire Sport also provides information and support in Leeds and West Yorkshire. So, to register your interest in volunteering or if you have a volunteering opportunity, sign up to Sports Makers to receive all of the latest information about volunteering whether you’re an organiser or just looking to get involved!
Let us know how you get on. We’d love to share your stories and experiences here on our Better Lives Blog.