Volunteers Week….How our amazing volunteers are instrumental to work that we do!

We are very fortunate to be supported by volunteers they enable us to deliver a quality service to women and children affected by Domestic Abuse.

Here are statements written by four of our amazing volunteers

Volunteer Counsellor – Shirley
Having worked in roles of both managing volunteers and volunteering, I understand the huge value that volunteers add to organisations, particularly charities. Many charities just wouldn’t survive without them.
I believe the role of volunteer comes with expectations and requires commitment. Although you’re not being paid, there is still a need to be reliable, professional and dedicated. I believe people entrust you to be professional. If you say you’ll turn up at 10am every Monday morning then you really need to, just as you would with paid work.
During my role of managing volunteers, I found it was important to ascertain people’s strengths, so they could be matched with a position that suited them best. I believe that training volunteers is crucial and it’s important that they understand the organisations policies and procedures and work within these. Training helps create good volunteers.
I have seen how beneficial volunteering is in helping people develop skills that put them in a better position to gain paid employment.
For me, volunteering gives me a sense of giving something back. I’ve only volunteered in counselling and this is something I’m very passionate about. It’s important to me that I’m following my passion when volunteering.

Ellie – Trustee
I’ve been a trustee with Broxtowe Women’s Project since January 2019. At 27, I am quite a young trustee, but I think it is good to have a mix of age ranges and experiences on the Board. I think I bring some knowledge of communications, new technologies and workplace processes to the role of trustee. Others on the Board have a wealth of experience in different fields, it is great to have expertise over a wide range of sectors.
I’m particularly passionate about volunteering for a domestic abuse charity. At University, I was interested in human rights, particularly the rights of women and children and was an active member of Amnesty International. Following university, I became very aware that there were huge issues closer to home. I was drawn towards domestic abuse particularly as there is often a stigma associated with it. I’m very impressed with the work that BWP does, very much putting the emphasis on empowering women and supporting them to take control of their lives rather than just doing things for them.
I work for the NHS and I am on the Graduate Management Training Scheme. I apply what I learn on this course in my trustee role and learning from my trustee experience is helpful to my course too, it’s a two-way process beneficial to both organisations.
There is so much that I’ve learnt from my role as trustee at BWP and I’m learning all the time. I believe my voluntary work in this capacity gives me so much. I feel satisfied that I’m actively helping such a worthy charity, I also feel that this work will benefit my future career prospects. In giving up my time and lending my expertise to volunteer, I believe this demonstrates that I have passion, commitment and skills associated with this role.

Molly – Volunteer Befriender
To me volunteering is very rewarding and something we should all consider doing, even if we have very little free time, doing something is better than nothing at all. It’s important to me that someone benefits from the support that I’ve given. It makes me feel reassured that they’ve got help and I feel privileged by being able to provide that help. I feel very happy and comforted when I see someone progress and develop. I like to know they’ve done something with the help I’ve given.
I know how it feels to be given help when I’ve needed it, I was given time and support, and this has made me want to do the same for others.
Volunteering has helped me to develop skills. It’s made me more in tune with people’s needs and better able to understand things from their perspective.
I’ve volunteered for Broxtowe Women’s Project as a befriender for 18 months. I love the work and find it very rewarding. To me, volunteering is a very important part of my life and I feel privileged being able to do it.
My sister recently said something that resonated with me –
“People who are always busy will tend to give you help. People who are not willing will always find a reason for why they can’t help you even if they’re not busy”.
I firmly believe this is true and I would urge everyone to consider volunteering, you can always find the time for something you’re passionate about and you’ll get so much back from helping others.

Debbie – Volunteer Befriender and Walk Leader
Broxtowe Women’s Project have supported me for 9 years, they’ve always been there for me and I’ve come to count on their help and support. I’ve made amazing progress that wouldn’t have been possible without them. Volunteering for BWP is important to me because I really wanted to give something back for the endless support I’ve been offered.
I’ve become a volunteer befriender and I feel like I’m in an ideal place to do this work. I know that it’s possible to have nothing and then get your life back on track because I’ve done it myself. I’m an open book, I will share my own story if I think this will inspire a lady to believe progress is possible when everything looks so bleak.
I understand domestic abuse, I know that women will tend to blame themselves, I will tell them that it’s not their fault. I will listen to their stories and validate their feelings, I never judge. I like then to know that they’re not alone, this is important because being domestically abused is a very isolating experience.
I’ve also trained as a walk leader for BWP well-being group although lockdown has put that on hold. I’ve also been involved in delivering BWP literature and supporting awareness stands. I’ll help in any way I can, it feels good to be able to give my time like this.
During lockdown I’ve been taking part in BWP’s well-being programme via zoom. I like that I can stay connected, to know I can give support and still receive support and stay in touch with the staff, volunteers and service users of BWP.