Q: How did you first hear about Trident Reach’s volunteering opportunities?
Sabina: I heard about it through a friend, who introduced me to the HR department and it all took off from there.
Oliver: I was living in one of the charity’s supported housing schemes. My key worker was aware that I was actively seeking employment and suggested it as an opportunity to gain much needed work experience.
Shane: I heard about it from my previous support worker when I was a resident in Sandwell Young Person’s Service. He told me the type of opportunities which were available and how to go about applying.
Q: What was it like to work as a volunteer in Trident Reach?
Sabina: It was an excellent experience. I learned so much, developing both soft and hard skills which has helped me progress personally and professionally.
Oliver: I feel as though the volunteering opportunity that was given to me by Trident Reach has helped me to develop as a person.
Shane: Starting off with hardly any experience made it difficult to adjust to working life. Simple tasks were hard, but with my manager’s support I was able to learn new skills and understand new ideas. I learned a lot of new things and was never given work that was too challenging or that I felt I couldn’t handle.
Q: How were you treated by other members of staff?
Sabina: They were great! The atmosphere between colleagues was amicable and relaxed I got along well with everyone.
Oliver: Everybody within the charity treated me with respect and dignity which was one of the main reasons I pursued employment with Trident Reach; I felt like I was an important part of the team.
Shane: Other staff members were very friendly and helpful towards me. It took me some time to adjust to new people; however the staff understood my shy behaviour. I quickly learnt the importance of building a rapport with other team members and its significance for my personal development as well as the success of the charity.
Q: What was your proudest moment as a volunteer?
Sabina: My proudest moment would have to be the first day I conducted interviews. To be given that responsibility made me feel like my input and credentials were being noticed and it gave me the opportunity to make a valuable contribution to the team.
Oliver: My proudest moment as a volunteer was when I was offered the job on a full-time basis as it meant I had shown the management that I was a valuable addition to the team.
Shane: The proudest moment I had whilst volunteering was completing my NVQ Level 2 in Business Administration, this has been a key qualification in helping me to progress through my working life.
Q: What would you say to someone considering volunteering?
Sabina: Volunteering is a wonderful opportunity for everyone. It doesn’t matter what your background is, it’s a fantastic opportunity to improve your skills in many areas which is invaluable.
Oliver: To anyone who is considering volunteering, it’s a fantastic opportunity to develop yourself. You get to meet a wide variety of people and are treated with the respect you deserve. Definitely worth considering!
Shane: The first thing I would say is to look past the idea of working for free. Focus ahead and see what the possible benefits are in taking this first step. If you learn well through experience volunteering is definitely for you. Finding what you do meaningful, means you can take pride knowing you are giving up your time for a good cause, for example working for a charity.