On the 1st-7th June Inspire joined in with celebrations for Volunteers Week. We wanted to take the opportunity to thank our volunteers for all of their hard work and their fantastic contributions to our services. We also wanted to show what it was like to be a volunteer and what roles we had available. We asked our volunteers to share their stories with us so that we could share them with the world.
Here are stories from Asa and Phil. Asa was previously a volunteer with Inspire in North and Central Lancashire and he is now employed full time with us. Phil is a current volunteer for Inspire in North and Central Lancashire.
I started volunteering for CGL in 2015 at a point in my life where I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my career, I had dropped out of university and had a number of jobs that were going nowhere but I knew I wanted to start giving something back I just didn’t know how. I had lost all motivation to push myself forward and didn’t see things getting any better but I had people around me who thought volunteering might help motivate me, and having personal experience around issues with addiction they thought I could share those experiences to the benefit of others. I didn’t see the point, I didn’t understand how working for free could help my career prospects or what use my experiences could have. It was only through working with CGL for a number of months that I saw how wrong I was. Through my time volunteering I was able to experience different aspects of jobs I would have never been able to in a paid role. I was able to help with the medical/health care side, the recovery work, group and 1:1 work, assessments and admin – all of which allowed me to see what I enjoyed most or felt I was having a positive impact on. Moreover because of my personal experiences of addiction I always felt like these would hold me back or would have to be an aspect of my personality I kept hidden, especially at work, but my volunteering allowed me to realise that I could use those experiences in a positive way, speaking with people going through similar situations and helping them to see that there was a way out and recovery is possible.
After volunteering for 6 months I had the necessary skills and experience to get a full time paid role in substance misuse which I worked for a number of years before coming back to CGL to work with people with Hepatitis C, supporting them to be tested and treated. I now have a career path, something I never would have without volunteering. I’ve been able to gain knowledge and experience I would have struggled to get if I’d never volunteered. Volunteering has helped shape my career and future as I now know what I want to do and how I can achieve it.
Having been a volunteer with CGL for over two years I enjoy giving back to a community I once took from.
As a past service user myself I recognised the valuable service CGL delivers but I never thought I would have the opportunity to positively contribute to the product.
I continue to find volunteering highly rewarding and I take immense pleasure from helping others to achieve a stable recovery.
Volunteering for CGL has given me the confidence to open doors I never knew existed and has delivered job opportunities in a sector I would have otherwise ignored but am now passionate about.
I am grateful to now be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
If you are interested in volunteering with Inspire we have many roles available! Fill in the form available here https://www.changegrowlive.org/content/volunteering-application-form for more information!
If you need further information or assistance in completing the application, contact Jon.Sumner@cgl.org.uk