After a few years of being unemployed, I was looking for something to do in my spare time that would also help to increase my skills and confidence.  Having previously suffered from depression and anxiety, I knew a full time job would be more of a long-term goal.

When I was introduced to Volunteering Matters and RSVP, I was particularly interested in the handyperson service. I was a bit nervous though – as it was brand new to me.  After a chat with the Project Coordinator, I signed up and went through some initial training which was really relaxed and enjoyable.  In February, I took up the role as Handyperson Organiser which means it is my responsibility to speak to older people who require our service.  After that, I assign the job request to the most appropriate volunteer, based on their location and skill set.  My role usually consists of one hour per evening.

Having done this role now for six months, I have learned a great deal and am very proud to be a part of this project. I have seen first hand how important it is to older people who would really struggle without our service.  I really feel that I am doing my bit to help others and give something back. It has helped me to believe in myself and I have learned some new skills which I didn’t believe I could ever do – especially my communication, organisation and people skills.  It’s great to be able to build a relationship with our clients and volunteers and it is also a lot of fun.

My confidence has increased and I absolutely love my Volunteer Organiser role.  Most recently, I have also been helping the Project Coordinator with admin tasks and publicity work for the service which means I am improving my IT knowledge as well.  It means a lot that I have received help and support from Volunteering Matters and, at the same time, I am helping the organisation and its beneficiaries too.

I am now aiming towards a college course which I hope to start soon.  I hope that in time this will also lead to employment.  Volunteering Matters to me because it has helped me see the light at the end of a dark tunnel.