Volunteering makes a big difference to us and can be good for you too...
- a positive impact on your health and wellbeing
- opportunities to meet new people
- a way that you can give back to your community and make a difference
- develop new skills or brush up on existing ones
- a route to employment
Here’s what some of our volunteers say
Alan signed up as a Memory Navigator a few months ago. He says “It really has added so much to my life to be able to help others, so has also been good for me as well. So if you have spare time and want to use it in a way which can be of so much help to others, Carers in Beds is the place for you. Finally another reason to join Carers in Beds is that they’re really great crowd of people”.
Val (pictured) has reluctantly had to give up volunteering in various roles over the past 3 years. She writes
Standing down as a volunteer was a tough decision but it’s all for positive reasons. I’m currently a Diploma student in Therapeutic Counselling which is demanding due to studying, coursework and a placement. I’m also a Mum of two, full-time carer to my son who has Autism, ADHD and a Severe Intellectual Disability and Grandmother.
I became involved as a volunteer at CIB to do something for myself and to give back to CIB for all the lovely support, courses and grants I have applied for as a Carer. Volunteering gave me some normality, balance, stability, sense of achievement, to be me while working and socialising with like minded people. I recommend it to everyone. I was able to offer my office skills I had learned prior to being a Carer. I really loved meeting and talking to other Carers, attending events in the community, in schools and conferences. I was even able to offer a listening ear, especially as I know how challenging it can be to care for someone you love. There’s nothing I haven’t enjoyed working at CIB. The staff and volunteers had all welcomed me in nearly 4 years ago and have been so friendly and supportive. Carol the Volunteer Coordinator and staff gave me adequate training, guidance and support to carry out my roles in the Grants Team, Grants Panel, Ambassador role in the community, issuing the carers discount card and on the interview panel.
The only problem I had, was knowing when to stop. The more I got involved at CIB, the more I wanted to do! There’s nothing I would of changed.
My love of volunteering at CIB and supporting carers like me was the start of my journey that has led me on the path to becoming a fully qualified counsellor and I wish to thank everyone from CIB who have supported me in doing so.
A Route to Employment
We have mixed feelings when a volunteer leaves us for paid work or to study, like Val - so glad for them especially if their volunteering with us played any part in their journey, but sorry to see them go. Emma volunteered with us most Tuesday morning to gain Human Resources experience:
"I have been volunteering with Carers in Bedfordshire for just over one year. Initially I helped Carol out with everything to do with volunteers and more recently I have been working alongside Helen on the HR side of things. While I have been volunteering I have met some wonderful people as well as gaining some valuable experience. I have had the opportunity to learn more about the organisation as well as having some great opportunities to learn about volunteer management and planning events (something I have never done before!). The opportunity to gain some practical experience of HR has also been invaluable to me and gave me a great opportunity to put some of the things I had learned from my Course in HR Practice into practice.
I have now gained my first role in HR and feel this is in no small part to all the experience I have gained while volunteering. I would highly recommend it to anyone!"