We have a wide variety of roles and a variety of people who volunteer to get involved. Here’s some of their stories about their experiences as a volunteer with our Thriving Kirklees partners.
You can read the stories here from those who have benefitted from support from volunteers and those who are volunteers themselves.
There’s also some short films on this page, courtesy of our Thriving Kirklees partners, about volunteers who work with those organisations.
A volunteer who had previously been helped by Thriving Kirklees
I applied to become a volunteer to support families as I finally came to a point in my life where I felt I could give back. I was a young teenage mum and attended Home-Start previously with my daughter. Home-Start helped me in different ways and made me feel like I could carry on and become a good mum and see the light at the end of the tunnel. I always looked up to the volunteers in group and wanted to be like them. I never thought I would have the time or motivation to do that later on in my life, but I am now very lucky to be able to support families and children and give that time back. I wanted to try and share my knowledge and skills of being a parent and also share the ways I have had to deal with difficult issues and situations in my life, that have had a positive outcome. I have always hoped this would help others become more confident, positive and help them in their journey.
The family I have recently supported told me that before Home-Start were involved her experience of receiving support was very negative, mostly from professionals. She felt that no-one really listened to her and understood what help she required. She thanked me for being the person that finally did that and didn’t tell her what to do, but helped her feel like she could do things and reminded her that she can do it, she just needed a push. This made me feel very overwhelmed as I went into my first family not really knowing what the outcome would be, sometimes thinking that she didn’t want or need my involvement but at the end, seeing the positive impact I have made.
Breastfeeding Peer Supporter
“I began volunteering after receiving amazing help and support from Baby Cafe with breastfeeding my son. I wanted to be able to “give back” something of the support I had received in my breastfeeding journey especially the help in the beginning.
“I really enjoy being a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter at Baby Cafe. I like meeting new families and supporting them at this stage of their new baby’s life. Each week sees different families with different needs. From helping a new mum to feed her newborn pain free to discussing introducing food to a 6 month old baby and just being there to support the families whilst they wait is a great experience as a volunteer.
“Having recently started telephone peer supporting this has been rewarding, especially to know that I’ve been able to help someone over the phone sometimes by just listening and pointing them in the direction of their closest feeding support groups.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity I have of volunteering with them and for the support I have received for my own family in the early stages of my children’s lives.”
Maternal Low Mood Peer Supporter
“This role has helped develop my confidence, travelling to new locations and approaching new people. I have gained a real sense of achievement from helping others and giving something back. I really enjoy my volunteering role and am pleased that it gets me out of the house each week. It also gave me the confidence to apply for a more senior role at work, which I am now really enjoying.”
“As a child I had an illness, it was a normal tummy upset but it caused me to have a Temperature of 104, and caused a Convulsion, this left me paralyzed down one side of my body, some brain damage, I suffer from physical and mental illness this happened 47 years ago.
I originally got into volunteering with Scope, they help disabled people. This basically saved my life I was in such a bad place.
Then I also got into volunteering at the Calderdale Recovery College and went on a course on mindfulness. This therapy really helped, I had tried so many and this was the only one that worked. They then started up a mindfulness course in Huddersfield. Mindfulness helps, I practice this every day, It helps me through, my depression and pain. I now facilitate sessions at Huddersfield and want to expand to help others.
“I volunteer twice a week; the courses are 8 weeks long. I also ran two mindfulness courses at the side of this. This helps my mental and physical health, I live on my own and doing the volunteering stops me being in my own head, gets me out and keeps me well.”