#GivingTuesday – Diary of a Volunteer

Posted on 2nd December 2014 by

Fran has recently completed an 8 week placement as a volunteer receptionist with the support of Better Futures. She has thoroughly enjoyed this experience and has recorded her reflection in a weekly diary. Fran is now continuing her role and was keen to share her experiences with others, so they can get an understanding of the typical journey they might expect from doing one of our placements. We decided to publish her story today for #GivingTuesday as Fran’s volunteering is a great example of the the work of our staff in accompanying service users on their journey to become comfortable with volunteering by themselves.

Below are a few examples of how Fran helped at her placement, and how Warren (Volunteering Coordinator) supported her. You can also read the full diary written by Fran.

Fran signed for parcels and delivered them to who they were addressed to, or rang them if that was not possible – she had to make various phone calls as part of her role at reception. Fran handed out cameras and signed the necessary forms for this, another common part of the role. She also let visitors in and out and made sure they signed in the guest book, which is an important health and safety protocol. Being on reception made Fran the first point of call for visitors, so she had to make sure their needs were met – for example phoning for a taxi and passing on a message. She also carried out duties such as reporting an accident to a member of staff when she saw it happen.

Warren helped Fran fill out a form about her qualities and introduced her to people at the reception on her first day. He talked about the kind of jobs they do and went through a role play with her about using the phone. When the staff could not walk with Fran, Warren walked with her instead and made sure they arrived in time for lunch. When they had to make scribble pads Warren cut the paper and Fran did the stapling. At times Fran did her reception shift independently, with Warren checking in to see how she was. At the end of Better Futures supporting Fran, she had a holiday, after which she would return to volunteer without Warren – she knew she would be okay though and looked forward to coming back.

Better Futures enables many people to volunteer just like Fran. This gives them useful skills, experience and confidence which they can use to continue volunteering and even find a paid job.

We are happy to be giving to our community every day and want to help others to give too, and we are using the UK’s first #GivingTuesday to help us do that. Remember to give something back to a good cause that you support this season, whether it’s a donation, volunteering or just spreading the word. Help us make this day a success!

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