“I choose to be me and live my life! There’s always something you can do better tomorrow than you can today. Volunteering is great, it benefits me in lots of ways”.
In 2016 Max was diagnosed with a terminal illness, given only six to nine months to live. After receiving the news, Max decided, “I could go two ways in life, I could give up, or carry on”. Max is not able to work anymore so he decided volunteering would be the best way to keep busy and a normal routine.
Max volunteers with Holy Trinity Church once a week, gardening and befriending. “Its a great place to be” said Max. “Its welcoming, I enjoy socialising and meeting new people. Volunteering has given me something to do, I have an aim and a focus”. Max began his journey into volunteering with Saddleworth Museum where he helped with general light duties. He said “ I really enjoyed the museum, it was a positive experience, but unfortunately I decided to leave because I had to go for more treatment, it drains my energy, I needed to take time out for me and rest. One day I may go back, however for now, I’m enjoying my time in my new volunteer role”
Volunteering makes Max feel happy and content knowing he is doing something good, he receives huge benefits and in turn supports those who are in need of a little help. Max said “I’ve learnt to be more patient when speaking to those in need of a listening ear, volunteering is a great way to learn something new”.
Trustees' Week 2018
Andrea, David and Patricia are all Action Together employees but thats not the only thing they have in common. They all volunteer as Trustees for charities that support causes they care about.
In honour of Trustees' Week 2018 we have created video case studies of all three discussing why they chose to become a Trustee and what they gain from the experience. They all have particular interests, experiences, skills, knowledge that they use for the benefit of their chosen organisations.
Andrea Worsley. Trustee, Gift of a Wedding
"I’m honoured to be a trustee of Gift of a Wedding, not just because I’m a former recipient, I believe in it, I believe that what we are doing is making a difference to people’s lives, we fulfil dreams and create memories."
To watch Andrea's video click here.
David Sharples, Trustee, People First Tameside
"Being a Trustee makes me feel like a better person, I enjoy doing it, I enjoy working with the people. I am really passionate about what People First Tameside do and I hope that I am able to support that organisation through the work that I do with my employer, Action Together and I hope that we continue to support that work, develop facilities and the people with learning disabilities living in Tameside."
To watch David's video click here.
Patricia Morris, Trustee, Manchester Craft and Design Centre
I had known about Manchester Craft and Design Centre for quite a while and always though that It was a great building in the Northern Quarter, I always thought it was a great and inspiring place. When I was given the opportunity to become a trustee I jumped at it because it was also a way that I could improve my CV. As a trustee I am a member of the main charity board, I am also the chair of the finance committee. In the past I’ve been on the fundraising committee and I am also a member of a board from a trading company. My commitment for all that is probably one evening a month with a bit of reading.”
To watch Patricia's video click here.
Healthwatch Champion with Healthwatch Oldham
Healthwatch Champions represent Healthwatch Oldham at local meetings and forums and support the team to engage with the public and to promote and publicise the service.They gather views and opinions from local people and feed back to the Healthwatch Oldham team.
The Healthwatch Champion volunteer role appealed to Linda because she has a background in health and social care having worked for Oldham Council for many years. She wanted to use her skills and experience to benefit others in a voluntary capacity.
“The Healthwatch Oldham team are fantastic. They have really welcomed me and encouraged me to link my existing skills to the Healthwatch Champion role.”
Linda has volunteered at a number of local events including the community open day at the Salvation Army Community Centre and the Healthwatch Oldham Forum in Alexandra Park.
Volunteer Centre Oldham and Tameside - Volunteer Photographer
Kami came to Volunteer Centre Tameside looking to gain some practical experience using her photography skills. She wanted an opportunity where she could develop her existing skills as well as learn some new techniques. Photography has always been one of her hobbies, one that she would love to turn into a career in the future.
“I’ve been given the opportunity to photograph a range of different subjects and build my portfolio. With photography it’s all about trial and error. The perfect photo comes with practice. Volunteering is helping me to get that experience”.
Kami’s role involves visiting voluntary organisations in both Oldham and Tameside and taking photographs that illustrate the variety of volunteer roles available and the impact that volunteers have in their communities. She has been photographing volunteers while they are actively carrying out their roles. These photographs are then used by Volunteer Centre Oldham and Tameside team for volunteer case studies, eBulletins, social media, the Action Together website, newsletters and general promotion.
“I have enjoyed visiting all of the organisations, travelling around Oldham and Tameside and seeing their volunteers in action.”
Kami feels that volunteering has improved her confidence and seeing her photos being used has been a huge boost for her.
“Volunteering has given me the confidence to be able to speak to new people. I have met some fantastic people. I went to Age UK Tameside recently to photograph the centre and the volunteers. I got involved with some of the activities while I was there, we had a great laugh.”
Andualem decided to volunteer because he wanted to fill his time, get out of the house and feel part of his new community. He attended an appointment with Action Together to discuss volunteering where he received guidence and advice. He then completed an pre volunteering introduction training course with Action Together, after this he had a better understanding of volunteering, more knowledge about it and what exactly is involved.
Andualem found out about the community hub in Alexandra park and decided to apply to volunteer. He volunteers two days a week, Monday and Wednesday where he gets involved in lots of activities and completes lots of fun tasks, he has got involved in the cooking sessions, he prepares for the fresh produce by planting fresh seeds and herbs, he regulary waters, diggs, takes out weeds and havests.
Volunteering has helped him feel healthier physically and mentally. He has learnt lots of new skills about growing his own fresh fruit and vegetables (which he is going to do at home) this is a great way to have great food and save money! He has made lots of new friends, volunteering it has given him the confidence to feel comfortable around new people. He is excited to volunteer and feels very proud of himself for making the choice.
“Visiting Action Together has given me a great first step to know more about volunteering and what I can do, I would recommend a visit. I am also looking into another volunteer role at the moment. If I feel I have more time, I’m going back to Action Together to find another!”
Volunteers with Tameside Scouts
James volunteers with 3rd Ashton Scouts. He was sworn in as a Assistant Scout Leader during their AGM. James has volunteered with the Scouts in the past. He enjoyed it so much, that when the opportunity to arose to volunteer he chose to return.
James also helps out in Ashton town centre at the permanent Scouts display sharing information with the public on the Scouts and their volunteer opportunities
To find out more about Tameside Scouts and their volunteer opportunities click here.
Toyibat Ganiyu is a community star!
I believe I’m getting more out of volunteering than I’m giving
Toyibat started volunteering with the Primrose Centre (Great Places) in October 2017, she found the role through Action Together, she met with an advisor where she received clear knowledge and information about volunteering.
It gave me an understanding of what I could do as a volunteer, my first visit was very relaxed, I felt that it was a very welcoming and friendly organisation
Toyibat decided to volunteer because she was struggling with her mental health. She wanted to get out of the house, make the best use of her time, learn something new and most of all, share her skills.
Toyibat feels that volunteering has had a huge impact on her life as it has helped her overcome some of her mental health issues. Volunteering has improved her social life, helped her interact with others better and has helped her feel much more confident.
Toyibat volunteers two days a week at The Primrose Centre. One day she does administration that involves general duties such as filing, photocopying and making phone calls. Her second role involves teaching people how to make jewellery during the Knit and Natter group. In return for sharing her skills the members of the group are teaching Toyibat how how to knit, all while they all have a good natter!
Community Star Awarded to Toyibat!
Toyibat has been awarded a ‘Special Recognition Award’ at Great Places Community Stars Awards.
Toyibat was recently nominated for a Community Stars Award by Great Places for her commitment and contibution to volunteering.
Alishia accompanied Toyibat to the Community Stars Awards at Gorton Monastry. The event proved to be very glamourous with a red carpet welcome, drinks, photographs, located seating and afternoon tea.
Toyibat has been awarded a Special Recognition Award for her independence, contribution and commitment to her volunteer role.
She runs a jewellery making group at the Primrose Centre in Oldham and supports people who want to share or learn new skills. Toyibat is so grateful to receive this special recognition, she feels so happy and proud of her achievement. She encourages people to volunteer because you never know what will happen!
Volunteers with Future Directions Oldham
Megan’s volunteering journey first started when she had a lot of time available, she wanted to keep herself busy and get out of the house. Megan attended an appointment at the volunteer centre to discuss volunteering and what she could do to help her. At the end of the appointment Megan left very positive, she booked on to attend the pre volunteer course to learn more about volunteering and received support to identify a suitable role with Future Directions. Future Directions are a social care provider who support individuals in the community and look for volunteers to support in a variety of volunteer roles.
Megan volunteers 3 days a week for 2 hours a day. She loves her volunteer role, its flexible around her time and is currently doing two different volunteer roles. One day is in the office supporting administration and the other two days she visits members of future directions to do activities such as, baking, painting nails and befriending. Megan has lots fun and enjoys every second of her time as a volunteer. Volunteering has helped Megan improve her confidence, kept her busy, increased her employability and she says:
Its been a great change in my life.
Volunteering for future directions has made me feel great. I am a valued member of the team and I receive great support and training. I’ve met lots of new people. I would really recommend speaking to Action Together to find out what volunteer roles are available, they really helped me get started. You never know what you will find that makes you feel so good! I love my volunteer role, I’m learning and sharing lots of skills whilst having fun.
Jenny Neville, Project Manager of Future Directions:
I spoke to Megan today and she said that she’s really enjoying volunteering, it’s great to have her on the team.
Volunteers with Helping Hand Charity Shop, Hyde
Keelie volunteers at the Helping Hand Charity Shop in Hyde. She helps in the stockroom, sorting through the donations that the shop receives.
I really like organising all the CDs and DVDs.
Keelie has been a volunteer for many years and she has helped out at a few different charity shops during that time. She enjoys being part of a team and likes being responsible for sorting through the CDs and the DVDS.
Keelie also attends Ashton 6th Form College where she is doing a number of different course. She likes to spend her time productively and volunteering helps her to get out of the house and keep herself busy. It also helps her to socialise with people and it’s given her confidence a huge boost.
Volunteers with Tameside Hospital
Volunteering helps keep me fit and healthy
Jonathan is a Tameside Hospital Volunteer. His role involves collecting the wheel chairs from around the hospital.
Jonathan is one of Tameside's many volunteer success stories. He has experienced some serious health issues in the past and has also struggle with his weight. Jonathan had to undergo major surgery and following this he went on to lose an astounding 10 stones in only 12 months. It was because of this and the fantastic changes that he made to his lifestyle that he was awarded a Pride of Tameside Award in 2017.
One of the changes that Jonathan made was becoming a volunteer. Jonathan says that volunteering at the hospital helps him stay fit and healthy because he spends so much time walking around the hospital.
If you're interested in volunteering at Tameside Hospital you can take a look at their volunteer roles by clicking here.
Volunteering with Miles of Smiles, Action Together
Phillip has been volunteering with Miles of Smiles since 2016.
Phillip had been visiting an elderly family friend for quite some time and while he was spending time with her he had noted the difference his visits were making. She was very isolated, she didn’t get out of the house very much and she wasn’t seeing that many people on a day to day basis. Phil recognised all of these things and decided to befriend her. His weekly visits to see her and have a chat were really beneficial and
I realized that there must be lots of isolated, lonely people out there that would benefit from befriending. I went to the Volunteer Centre Tameside to see what opportunites there were availiable where I could help people.
It was while Phillip was spending time with this lady that he made the decision to visit the volunteer centre and ask if there were more people out there that he could help.
I enjoy being able to help people and all of the passengers are really appreciative. There are so many people that Miles of Smiles helps that would struggle if the service wasn’t available”. Miles of Smiles “If you want help people and give a something back to your community then Miles of Smiles volunteer driving is a great opportunity. You’ll enjoy it and you’ll get the feel good factor too!
If you're interested in becoming a Miles of Smiles volunteer driver or if you would like some more information call Lisa Hannibal on 0161 339 2345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find out more by clicking here.