Time to Give Back: Accessible volunteering

Building crucial life skills, meeting new people, to giving back to your local community: volunteering is an enriching experience all round. Volunteer Nicola Taylor shares her journey.

There are many ways to give back to your community.

After getting involved in a Sexual Awareness for Everyone (S.A.F.E) Workshop – run by Volunteering Matters – Nicola Taylor wanted to take her certificate further.

It wasn’t long before Nicola, who has cerebral palsy and is a wheelchair user, was giving back.

INVOLVED

“I work to develop S.A.F.E activities and help deliver the workshops in the community,” enthuses Nicola.

S.A.F.E is a project promoting personal safety and good sexual health of young women with learning disabilities through peer led workshops, run by Volunteering Matters.

The charity devises and facilitates projects across the UK, and the charity has seen their S.A.F.E project winning awards.

As the project is peer-led, Nicola and other volunteers can work directly supporting their disabled peers.

More than 21 million people volunteer in the UK at least once a year

LEARN

“I enjoy it because I help other people with disabilities,” she continues. “It has built my knowledge, and I like to see others progressing, too.”

During her time with Volunteering Matters, Nicola has had the opportunity to further her skillset. Nicola has achieved all her S.A.F.E training, plus training to work with autistic people, alongside working on another project called No…SH! about understanding sexual harassment.

Nicola adds: “I have learned about safer relationships, internet safety, sexual health and what I need to do to keep myself safe. I have also learned about other disabilities and how to talk to and help others.”

And the responsibilities Nicola has had with Volunteering Matters will make a significant impact on her CV.

GOALS

“Apart from helping with the resources and delivering the workshops, I have helped deliver a presentation for the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board in front of 60 people,” says Nicola proudly. “I also delivered a taster session of some of our workshops.”

Volunteering makes a significant difference to many people’s lives – both the volunteer and the people you help.

Alongside learning valuable skills, gaining qualifications to building confidence, the benefits are insurmountable.

Plus, volunteering is a great opportunity to reach new heights. Nicola enthuses: “Volunteering Matters have helped me achieve my goal of supporting others.

“They’re very friendly and have helped me meet other different groups of people and make friends.

“I want to keep on volunteering for as long as possible because I enjoy it so much, and I know that the projects I work on help lots of other people.”

So, what are you waiting for? There is avolunteering opportunity waiting for you.

Learn all about the benefits of giving back by visiting Volunteering Matters online.