The impact of volunteering can never be replaced

As part of Volunteers’ Week we are celebrating the amazing work our volunteers do.

John talks to us about the impact volunteering has had on him…

I first began volunteering at my sister’s suggestion. This was around a decade ago with another not for profit organisation that my brother Martin and nephew Francis belonged with. This is where I first met Jake from Certitudes Community Connecting team. I had worked for Royal Mail for 37 years and took early retirement when I was 56. My sister Linda suggested that I should volunteer as a mini bus driver and support worker to occupy myself during retirement and that I would enjoy it.

Once the volunteer work became very scarce due to changes I was approached by Jake to volunteer at Certitude. I was glad to do so and have never looked backed.

Volunteering with Certitude, working with Jake and people we support has given me a huge insight in understanding people with learning disabilities. I have learnt that each individual should be able to make their own decisions irrespective of disability and I am there to help them in any way I can. It has given me a different outlook, especially if I see inappropriate behaviour to people in the outside world. I put myself out to help anyone in difficulty and this has made me more aware of people who I may be able to help, even in a small way…

Seeing people’s faces light up with happiness and laughter after a day trip. Seeing them doing what they love – performing at the Brit School in front of an audience makes doing what I do more than worth it.

The impact volunteering has both on people we support and on me can never be replaced.