James Donnelly is Project Manager of Family Supporters in Edinburgh. We asked James what it feels like to work at Volunteering Matters. Here’s what he said:

My journey with Volunteering Matters started in 2015 as a volunteer with North Lanarkshire Befriending Project.  It was my first volunteering role – I was matched with someone to essentially be their friend and support them. Volunteering gave me a fresh outlook on things, making me feel like I had something worthwhile to offer the community so I took on a second match. In 2018,  I was employed by the project as an Engagement Manager; I brought  a lot of experience to the role and it was great to gain news skills particularly around safeguarding.

The pandemic was a very strange time for the project, it turned a lot of what we do upside down so I had to rethink how best to make it work. In a lot of ways it was a real opportunity and challenge for myself to go about things differently so that we could support local families during a very difficult time.  So I set up Family Supporters from scratch and despite it being unbelievably hard work to get a new project off the ground, I’m happy that it’s going from strength to strength.

Being part of Volunteering Matters is exciting at a time of what feels like massive change. Starting a new project within Volunteering Mattersfeels like an amazing achievement, so far!  The culture at Volunteering Matters is inclusive.  As part of the LBTQI community I feel able to be myself.

I’ve been given the opportunity to develop my skills to support our local community.  Family supporters is making a huge difference to the people we support in our community. We’re in it for the long haul!

You can be authentic. There is quite a varied group of people working at Volunteering Matters so inclusiveness is something we see in action day to day.