Volunteer Stories – Niall

Volunteering for the Millfield trip doesn't have to involve this

As a career civil servant since I left school I had no experience of working with people with learning disabilities but I was drawn to the opportunity to make a difference and work with a diverse group of exceptional people simply by picking up a volunteer recruitment leaflet at a local gym.

I had previous experience as a volunteer as a mentor for the Prince’s Trust so I knew what a hugely rewarding experience volunteering can be.

I started volunteering with Mencap in 2005. I had no experience of working with learning disabilities – but I have learned a lot.

I volunteer at 18+ club but have supported member’s holidays and day trips in the past. I’m also a trustee and member of the Executive Committee.

As a volunteer I support our members in enjoying social activities, help them communicate with people and encourage their independence.

I spend time talking to them which is always interesting, hearing about what they are doing throughout the week and sharing lots of laughs with them (often at my expense!!).

Th best thing about volunteering is the people you are supporting – they are amazing in many different ways. I have been fortunate to see so many people grow in confidence and life skills, progress to independent living and have been to the weddings of 2 couples from our groups.

Seeing all of our members happy and having a good time makes it all worth while and I genuinely feel that my volunteering experience has had a positive impact on me personally.

If you are considering volunteering I would say just give it a try and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed! There is a lot of good support from across the volunteer network and we learn from each other. It’s not for everyone but unless you try you will never know.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Laura by emailing laura@keynshammencap.org.uk or phoning 01179 865659, or you can apply online by clicking the button below. We would love to hear from you!