Good Neighbours Case Study: Hannah

Hannah has always worked in Health and Social Care related roles including speech therapy, supporting asylum seekers and refugees and now in systems training for the social care sector. Hannah has always done bits of volunteering alongside her work, which started at university when she volunteered in a charity shop. Over the years, Hannah has acted as a peer mentor to international students, supported vulnerable women and young people at ‘A Way Out’ in Stockton, and was a befriender to asylum seekers and refugees. Hannah finds that befriending roles have always fitted in well around work as they are quite flexible, so she can help out every couple of weeks or once a month.

Hannah’s previous two jobs were quite intense and she was unable to fit in volunteering during that time. She helped with some shopping for Good Neighbours during the pandemic. Once the lockdowns ended, a member of the Good Neighbours team reached out to see if she would still like to be involved in some way. Hannah had recently changed jobs and thought she had the time/headspace for volunteering again.

Hannah became a buddy to Doreen, who lives on her own in sheltered accommodation. Doreen rarely manages to get out the house and asked if a volunteer could take her clothes shopping. Often Doreen is tired and doesn’t sleep well so would prefer to stay in, but Hannah always gives her the option to go out when they meet up. Sometimes they just stay in and have a cuppa instead.

“I really like working with people. Doreen is often tired but I think she seems perkier after the visit. She has lots of interesting stories; she’s really funny and doesn’t suffer fools!”

When asked why she would recommend volunteering to others, Hannah said, “It’s good for a few reasons. It’s nice to do something other than work and you meet interesting people who you might not meet in everyday life such as friends or colleagues. I think it makes you a more well-rounded person.

“It’s nice to help and support someone. It can be hard to take on voluntary work when you’re doing that kind of supportive role as your day job (as I was previously), but since changing roles I’ve found I really enjoy this aspect of volunteering. I would encourage anyone thinking about volunteering to give it a go!”

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