For Volunteers Week, Sarah a YSS volunteer who helps support our ESS service, answers questions about her role, and her experiences of being a volunteer at the charity.

How have you been able to support YSS and service users during the Covid 19 situation?

With Covid many people feel stuck in their situation so they need a little extra motivation to help them progress - I have been advising people on who to contact so that they can move forward with their housing, I’ve managed to help get people access to foodbanks when they are struggling with essentials and mainly I’ve been there to listen to what is going on with their lives. Sometimes its underestimated the impact that a weekly phone call can have on someone who is in a situation they would rather not be in; two service users have expressed how nice it is to be able to actually talk to someone.

What have you gained personally from this role?

I have gained so much knowledge about different processes such as and foodbank referrals, and claiming Personal Independent Payment - more than I thought that I would gain. It’s also such a great feeling when someone completes a goal that is set, I feel like I’m actually making a difference regardless of how big or small it may be and that in itself is so very rewarding.

What would you say to someone who is interested in volunteering at YSS, but not sure if they should apply?

DO IT! It’s daunting to go into anything that is new, however I can truly say that I am so proud to volunteer for YSS and I really feel part of the team. You will help others and you will be able to develop qualities in yourself that you may not have known you had.

Enhanced Support Service  (ESS) supports individuals who have indicated they want to stop offending and aims to stop the reoffending cycle. Like many of our volunteers, Sarah has adapted her role to undertake phone befriending to support those people who are particularly struggling during this lockdown period. 

For further information about the different volunteering opportunities available at YSS, please click here; alternatively, get in touch with our volunteer coordinator, Laura, who would love to hear from you: [email protected]