Over the course of Volunteers Week some of our fantastic volunteers offered to put together a description of their time with us. We’re very pleased to present short pieces by Adrian and Soondus, who both applied for research and community champion roles.
I’m Adrian and I’m a psychology student at the University of Manchester. I have been interested in third sector work for a long time and decided to volunteer part-time at a local charity. I joined Healthwatch Manchester in November 2017 after hearing about it through the university’s volunteering hub. I spent a lot of my time with Healthwatch Manchester going to meet-ups at a local mental health charity to listen to what the members thought about mental health services in Manchester. It was great to be part of the supportive and friendly group and I met a lot of inspiring people. I particularly enjoyed helping with a social trip for the group on a “folk train” where we got a chance to unwind and listen to some great music. It could be challenging at times to stick to my commitments with Healthwatch Manchester in the midst of uni work etc., but the experience has ultimately been well worth the effort. Working here has helped me appreciate what an impact it can make on one’s own life just to be around people who are working together to make a difference.
I joined Healthwatch Manchester in March 2017 as I was looking to volunteer in the community to gain experience. As a registered associate nutritionist and having completed a masters in public health nutrition, I wanted to share my time and knowledge to improve the healthcare in the community, as well as develop myself personally and professionally.
Healthwatch Manchester offered me an opportunity to work on a project regarding childhood obesity in Manchester which complimented my field of work perfectly. I was able to apply my knowledge as well as expand it, as I had learned additional in-depth information about early years nutrition which really increased my confidence and experience in that area. It was challenging at first (as I am a very shy and quiet person) to go into the community and communicate with the public directly. However, with a bit of experience and supervision, it got a lot easier and I was soon deployed into the community representing Healthwatch Manchester with plenty of confidence! I met a lot of great people who also volunteered at Healthwatch Manchester and I really enjoyed my time there. With the help of a team of volunteers, and some communication and report writing courses, I was able to go very far into completing the project and have left with many transferable skills that can be used in my future endeavours.
We’d like to thank both Adrien and Soondus for the time they’ve given us as volunteers and for taking the time to send us these words.