Northumberland CVA’s Supported Volunteering service is one of the interventions available to people who register on Bridge Northumberland. The project encourages people who have a range of additional support needs, to gain confidence, self-esteem and practical skills by undertaking volunteering with the support of a Buddy, who is also a volunteer, so they are able to move into unsupported volunteering, training or employment.
Here’s what one of our Volunteer Buddies had to say about their decision to volunteer.
What made you want to look into taking on a volunteer role?
Mostly I wanted to become more involved in my community and to make even a small positive difference to someone in need of support. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time.
Why were you interested in the Bridge Project?
The Project sounds really good. I like the emphasis on supporting people, simply by being alongside them, to empower and build confidence.
What was involved in the recruitment and selection process?
I was contacted by someone from Northumberland CVA after I expressed an interest in volunteering via their website. We had an informal chat about my background, why I wanted to volunteer, and what types of opportunities I might be interested in. The following week I heard about the Bridge Project and was put in touch with a Project member of staff. I completed an application form and, once accepted as a Volunteer Buddy, completed a DBS check and some online training modules.
What personal benefits and potential opportunities do you hope being a volunteer will bring?
I hope it will provide new experiences and new challenges, with the chance to learn new skills and improve my own career prospects. I'm sure it will also bring a sense of achievement and community involvement.
Would you recommend using the Northumberland CVA service to others?
Definitely. The staff have been really helpful. The initial phone call was really affirming and gave me the confidence to pursue volunteering despite my own lack of confidence.