DDN June2022 June 2022 - Page 6

VOLUNTEERING

SIGNING UP

Volunteers ’ Week , from 1 to 7 June , is a chance ‘ to recognise the fantastic contribution volunteers make to our communities ’, say the organisers . We hear what volunteering has meant to those working with some of the sector ’ s leading organisations
‘ Do it ! If it ' s an area you ’ re considering working in , or something you care about , then it ' s a great space to be able to make a difference .’
JUST DO IT
– Tiggy

After leaving their job in hospitality due to the pandemic , Tiggy decided to volunteer with Humankind after an online employability quiz suggested they ’ d be suited to a career in a caring role .

Tiggy contacted Humankind ’ s LGBT + support service – a cause close to their heart – and landed a volunteer role facilitating peer support groups for young people and leading on student outreach for the service . Having previously worked in the hospitality industry , Tiggy had lots of soft skills like being able to communicate well with a wide range of people , and they were able to apply these in their volunteer role . ‘ The main thing I gained was getting to know the young people , having that opportunity to be there for them , knowing the service was a place where I felt comfortable , and learning about how Humankind works as a company ,’ says Tiggy .
When a job vacancy in the service became available , Tiggy ’ s supervisor encouraged them to apply , but they passed on it as they didn ’ t feel they had the confidence , knowledge , and skills for the role . Fortunately , Tiggy ’ s supervisor kept encouraging them , and when a role came up a few months later , they got it . While it has been a big step up , they feel supported , saying : ‘ Everyone ' s got each other ' s backs and if there ’ s ever anything I ' m unsure about , I know I ' ve got more than one person I can call upon .’ Tiggy still loves facilitating one-to-one sessions , peer support groups , days out and activities with the young people they support . This is when the job is most rewarding : ‘ Any time a young person mentions they ’ ve thought about something I ’ ve said and applied it , that they ’ re feeling better or less alone , it ’ s
6 • DRINK AND DRUGS NEWS • JUNE 2022 WWW . DRINKANDDRUGSNEWS . COM