Posted 04:45PM on Tuesday 08 July 2014
Grace Hamilton, who volunteers with our Better Futures Project, recently attended an event hosted by Volunteer Now in the luxurious Hillsborough Castle. Grace, who attended the event with our Volunteer Coordinator, Ruth Mormecha, has been volunteering with Positive Futures for almost a year. Grace works with adults supported by the Better Futures Project, accompanying them on various activities, e.g. going to the cinema. We caught up with Grace to find out about what volunteering means to her.
What inspired you to volunteer with Positive Futures?
I studied Health and Social Care in Lisburn College and decided that I wanted to gain experience in a volunteering role. My mum already volunteered with Positive Futures so I knew it was a valuable place to gain experience. My uncle is disabled so I have grown up with this all my life. Seeing what he could and couldn’t do showed me what it was like to be restricted.
What does your volunteering involve?
I currently work with adults supported by the Better Futures Project. I accompany them on various activities like going to the cinema, bowling, craft events and concerts. So far, I have particularly enjoyed arts and crafts. It’s an enjoyable team building exercise that everyone seems to like and participate in. It has been great to just be down to earth with each person and have a fun evening over a cup of tea and biscuit.
What skills or qualities are required for your volunteering role?
I need to be caring and considerate; listen to the person I’m with and read up on what their needs are in the guide on how best to support them in order that I can keep them safe and happy. Teamwork is also important, both with other staff members and with volunteers. I think I am a good team player. I learn a lot from other staff and volunteers which allows me to learn new skills and qualities. Good communication skills with everyone are very important. I am an enthusiastic person which has been a great benefit. It’s also very useful from a learning point of view. I have been unsure about a few things but have been able to ask the staff or other volunteers.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering and what has been the highlight of your time with Positive Futures?
I have really enjoyed meeting new people. This has given me the opportunity to give something good within my community. I enjoy knowing I make a difference to the lives of young adults who perhaps wouldn’t have been able to get out to such events. My highlight so far was actually my first night out at the Civic Centre in Lisburn. I felt so good afterwards whenever I realised how much I was appreciated for giving up my time to volunteer. It was so rewarding and I just wanted to experience more times volunteering with Positive Futures.
Would you encourage others to get involved in volunteering with Positive Futures?
YES! It’s so rewarding. You meet new people, experience new things and, overall, you feel great about helping others out.
Has Grace inspired you to get involved in volunteering? If so, then please visit our volunteering page to find out more. Or why not get in touch with Ruth Mormecha by emailing email@example.com?