Volunteers’ Week

1st-7th June 2021

This week we are celebrating Volunteers’ week.

This volunteers week is our opportunity to thank our amazing volunteers, from our Volunteer Befrienders to the volunteers at our Family Events they play a vital part in our organisation, giving us the time to support more families.

We spoke to Sandra, one of our Volunteer Befrienders and Sherborne Youth Club Leader about what volunteering means to her

Why did you want to volunteer for Ups and Downs Southwest?

Hi, my name is Sandra, and I am mum to Joshua (14) who has a Dual Diagnosis of Autism and Down Syndrome. I am semi-retired and live with my partner Paul, in South Somerset.

I feel that I have a lot of experience and knowledge on the subject, and I would like to help others in any way I can. I have acquired a lot of skills over the years in my working role and I feel it is good to continue to use them to help others.

Ups and Downs have helped us over the years and so becoming a volunteer is a good way to say thank you to the organisation.

Can you tell me about an aspect of volunteering that you really enjoy?

I enjoy meeting families and hopefully make a difference by offering advice and support.

I also enjoy the training and meeting other volunteers.

What do you gain from volunteering?

I find volunteering is beneficial for my mental health. It is so rewarding to be able to play some small part in helping families along their journey. The administration side keeps my IT skills up to date and it is nice to feel part of a team.

What would you say to someone thinking of volunteering?

Give it a go. It may push you beyond your comfort limits but the rewarding feeling of helping someone far outweighs any nerves or reservations you may have.

I often think that it would have been so nice to have had a befriender when I was starting out and that is a good enough reason to be a volunteer myself.

The contribution of volunteers is often unseen and unrecognised by many, visible only through the incredible impact of their volunteering. That is why on this 37th annual #VolunteersWeek it’s time for us to say: thank you, volunteers!


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