Volunteers' week - Tammy's story

Tammy, is one of the people we support in supported living in Leicester. She first began to volunteer at the Salvation Army in Coalville whilst she was at college on placement back in 2015. When Tammy finished her college course she continued to do her voluntary work at the Salvation Army every Tuesday morning. Tammy is still volunteering here to this day and has made lots of good friends over there. Tammy very much feels part of the community now and this position has helped Tammy to gain more skills, confidence and independence.

Tammy says ‘when I work there I do the books and put stickers on them so we know how long they have been on the shelves for. I also sort the CDs and put dates on them, and make sure everywhere is clean and tidy. I will help make the drinks for customers that come in as well. I do a lot of different jobs when I am there’. Attached is a photo of Tammy outside of the Salvation Army in her volunteering t-shirt.

When Tammy knew her time at college was coming to an end, she expressed a wish to volunteer at a hospital. Her support team helped her research options and contacted the volunteer co-ordinator at the Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI). Tammy’s skills very much matched those desired of a meet and greet volunteer and Tammy was very eager to explore this in more depth. She was supported to an interview for the position and to gather information she needed for a DBS check to be completed.

Tammy was successful with her application and completed her induction training in July 2015. This covered the following topics: manual handling, infection control, safeguarding, fire safety, confidentiality, diversity and the Role and Boundaries of a Volunteer.

When Tammy’s DBS came back this enabled her to begin her volunteering in the September. It was agreed with the hospital and Tammy that she would do this independently, without direct support from her support staff. This was a big step forward for Tammy and it has boosted her self-esteem and confidence.

Tammy volunteers for 4 hours every Thursday and by the end of May 2018 she will have completed 500 hours of volunteering!! This is an amazing achievement and something Tammy feels very proud of. Tammy says she didn’t want to stay at home because she would be bored and really wanted to do this job and is pleased staff supported her to get it. She added ‘to begin with I didn’t know anyone there but now I know all the other volunteers and we get on well together. Every year we have a volunteer event with different hospitals where we get together and awards are given out.’

During her days volunteering at the LRI Tammy says ‘I collect the wheelchairs and show people around. If anyone asks me where a department is I will tell them where to go or take them there. Sometimes I will stay with people until they get booked if they don’t have anyone with them and they always appreciate what I do for them and say thank you. I meet lots of different people I don’t know and talk to them and I get on with everyone. Everyone likes me and says I do a good job’. Tammy says it makes her feel really pleased that she is volunteering at the LRI.

These opportunities have had such a positive impact on her life and she is very proud to be a part of their teams.