Volunteers bring immeasurable value to all areas of Inspire’s support for people with mental health conditions, learning/intellectual disabilities and autism. Below are some of our inspiring volunteers stories.
My name is Aileen and I am currently an administration volunteer with Inspire. After completing my BA in Early Childhood Studies in 2012, I worked with another charity for three years. However, as I have a learning disability, the transition into work wasn't easy. I developed anxiety, depression and speech loss as a result and, after quitting my job in 2015, I resolved to put my health first.
I spent the next two years travelling the world, attending counselling, speech and language therapy, and confidence building classes. I volunteered with different organisations to reinvigorate myself, rebuild my confidence and explore which of my skills could help me move into a different area of employment. I found my strengths in administration work and from there I have been keen to volunteer as much as I can to get admin experience, giving back to those who have helped me in my recovery. In my current role, I help and support the office coordinator with different tasks in Inspire's Dungannon office. My tasks include database work, designing event posters for clients, photocopying and creating appointment cards.
There are great opportunities for me to build on my social and communication skills, as well as developing my skill-set in admin. As someone with a learning disability, I feel it is important for others to see me as a worthwhile person, someone who, with the right support is capable, of going far in life – looking at things that I can do, rather that what I can't do. Volunteers get the opportunity to be the highest expression of themselves – to shine and be appreciated for what they can do.
I always feel welcome every time I come in to volunteer and I am respected. I have learned a lot about myself and volunteering has given me more reasons to feel proud of the progress I have made so far in my recovery.
My name is David. I am retired and 68 years young. I volunteer at Enterprise Court, especially House 12. I have volunteered in this role since my retirement at age 66. I had previously spent just under 10 years as a support worker at Inspire. Relationships I built over those years with staff and clients prompted me to continue providing support through volunteering.
I built the purchased chicken coop and run for the four hens and recently assembled a walk-in chicken run, which enables staff to provide therapeutic support for the clients at Enterprise Court. I also support the staff who run a series of arts and crafts workshops in the admin building.
I certainly enjoy what I do. I know the staff are supportive and appreciate what I do. I would recommend retired folk like me, with time on their hands, to become involved and provide much needed help in the area of good mental wellbeing.
I understand the complexities today of engaging in volunteering, which can put some people off, but I would encourage anyone to consider pushing on through this.
Who are you and what is your current volunteer role with Inspire?
Cathy – dance teacher
What inspired you to volunteer in the first place?
‘Happy accident’ – Joanne (manager at Junction CWS) picked up my business card and gave me a call. The rest is history.
What do you do in your current role?
Teach dance to members here at Junction CWS – various forms of dance including line dancing and jive.
How long have you been volunteering for Inspire?
What do you get out of volunteering?
Giving something back, having a laugh and putting smiles on the faces of members.
Would you recommend volunteering to others?
Yes – it’s very rewarding. Just go for it.
What other volunteering do you do/have you done?
Home care in the community – visiting isolated older people in their homes for a cup of tea and a chat.
So you want to be the person who makes a difference? Then you might just have come to the right place. Careers with Inspire will challenge and develop you. You will see first hand the difference that you can make in people's lives. Why not find out more here....?