Volunteer case study: Alistair

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 Alistair volunteers as a befriender at our Young Persons’ Prevention and Support Service (YPASS). 

In his role, Alistair spends time with clients whilst doing activities together, such as: going to the park, museum, bowling, the cinema. He also assists them to their appointments and helps with their paperwork.

He said: “I think it’s important for me to give back – and what better way to do it!  I also know volunteering is a way to show my skills and to learn new ways of engaging with young people, as I know this is the line of work I would love to be involved with.

I enjoy new challenges and it’s always a real pleasure meeting new clients, getting to know their background and encouraging them to make positive decisions. I also like the cooking group that I am involved with as it’s great to pass on my knowledge about food and budgeting skills.  The team I am lucky to work with are fantastic and very supportive and professional and they always encourage me to go that little bit further.

Whilst volunteering I have gained the confidence to look for paid work, learned new skills and have been on training whenever anything comes up.  The people I have met along the way have all being positive and I have taken a little bit from each and every one of them.  I am forever gaining experience – and working with others in this field has given me a purpose, which until now, I believe was hidden.  I now have a real sense of direction and I am looking forward to gaining employment, hopefully with Horton Housing.

Volunteering has opened up so many doors for me. It’s put me in a position to now look for employment. But, my biggest achievement is that I’ve recently successfully applied to study Youth Work  and Community Development at university! This was only possible because of my voluntary role here at YPASS.  I am very thankful for this opportunity to expand my knowledge and learn new skills for me to then put into practice. I can’t wait to get a career I want and enjoy.

Volunteering has changed my life and given me a purpose and has been the best decision I have ever made.”