Sarah, Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales
Sarah has been volunteering with the Citizens Advice Bureau for two years thanks to the employee volunteering scheme that she signed up to through her work at T-Mobile. The personalised volunteering scheme for T-Mobile staff is run by national volunteering charity TimeBank and through it, staff are granted two days of their paid work time per year to volunteer in opportunities that match their skills and requirements.
Sarah’s friend secured a job through volunteering so as soon as she heard that she could use a couple of days of her work time to volunteer, she jumped at the chance.
“It’s so handy to use these hours to volunteer”, Sarah says. “The T-Mobile employee volunteering scheme makes it easy for me to sort out how much time I can volunteer with Citizens Advice - it keeps my volunteering flexible and does the hard work for me really.”
“I really enjoy volunteering with Citizens Advice, its something I never thought I’d do so it’s great that I can use my paid work time to do it. Knowing that I am helping people that can’t help themselves gives me a great sense of satisfaction. I get lots from it too - I would never have been able to speak to new people before but because I’m always speaking to strangers it’s given me the confidence to speak to people outside of my usual friends and family circle. I’ve developed my listening skills too – it’s helped me be more patient and it’s broadened my knowledge of societal issues too.”
Sarah’s volunteering has had great professional benefits too. She’s gained a qualification as a Generalist Advisor where she teaches others on how to advise. Furthermore, her boss has asked her to do various different jobs that she would have hesitated to do before but her work with the Citizens Advice Bureau has given her the self confidence to get involved in other things and venture out of her comfort zone.
Sarah’s going to carry on with volunteering through T-Mobile’s employee volunteering scheme for as long as she’s able to – she’s inspired about volunteering now and doesn’t want to stop. She’s got used to Citizens Advice Bureau though so she’s not quite ready to do any other type of volunteering just yet but she’s most certainly developed the confidence to give it a go when the time is right.