What made you want to volunteer with Action on Hearing Loss?
Someone I knew worked for the organisation and told me that Action on Hearing Loss were looking for volunteers, and encouraged me to apply. I wanted to learn new skills to help my future career, build my confidence, help the local community and understand a little more about hearing loss, so this was the perfect opportunity.
What did your volunteer role involve?
I started by covering reception twice a week. I would take incoming calls and referrals over the phone, welcome and help any visitors coming into the office, as well as general office administration such as filing and photocopying. I began to pick up new tasks, including organising monthly home visits and collating statistical figures. I also began helping out at local Hear to Help clinics, supporting other volunteers on the clerical side.
What did you gain from your volunteering role?
I was able to help the local community whilst supporting the organisation by giving my time to helping where needed. It also helped me grow within myself, learn new skills and meet new people. This led me to feel more confident about myself and my future career opportunities, and broadened my approach when looking for jobs. Taking or receiving telephone calls, meeting and greeting people and unfamiliar surroundings were things that would make me very nervous and anxious. I grew to overcome this with my volunteering role ¬- the nervous, anxious feelings changed into confidence.
How did you become an employed staff member?
I began my role as a Community Support Officer in May 2011, and after a few months, I began overseeing the Befriending Service on the Isle of Wight. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities and experiences of the last nine years, which have helped me grow into the person I am today.
What does your current role involve and what do you get out of it?
I oversee the 17 drop-in clinics that are run each month, as well as home visits for hearing aid support. I manage our 32 wonderful volunteers, who maintain around 300-400 hearing aids in an average month.
What would you say to anyone thinking about volunteering and what it can mean for their career prospects?
I would encourage anyone to volunteer, as it’s a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and give something back. Whatever it may be that you decide to do, your help will always be greatly appreciated - big or small. You can truly make a positive impact on someone’s life, including your own.