Volunteers play a vital role in the work that we do. They not only bring their time and energy but also a wide array of skills and expertise. Volunteers handle practical tasks such as preparing and serving meals at our breakfast clubs. They also assist our customers in attending appointments and filling out forms. Their role is essential in providing additional support to our customers.
One of our newest volunteers, Chantae, shared with us what it is like to volunteer at one of our busiest services – Alexandra House. Chantae has been volunteering at Alexandra House since June, as part of her level three qualification in Advice and Guidance with St Giles Trust.
“Every day is different volunteering here at Alexandra House. Tasks can range from collecting donations to having one-on-one sessions with regular customers or even with customers we’ve never interacted with before. It could involve helping support people in attending appointments or assisting them in signing up for bills.
I appreciate how different it is every day. You never do the same thing twice. I feel lucky to be part of a great team. They’ve made my experience here enjoyable because they are welcoming and friendly. Plus, I genuinely like interacting with the customers – they are quite the characters!
Since I’ve been at Alexandra House, I’ve learned that homelessness and addiction aren’t as black and white as they might seem. While I had some understanding of this before, being on the support side has given me first-hand insights into how these issues affect people. I’ve also realised that you need to tailor your approach to everyone’s unique needs, which can be complex or straightforward.
In terms of my future career, this experience has taught me to keep an open mind. In fields like this, having a closed mind isn’t an option. I want to stay enthusiastic about learning new things and facing challenges. It is a valuable experience for my career in forensic psychology, where I’ll encounter addiction, domestic violence, and prison settings.
I would absolutely recommend volunteering here. What’s great about Alexandra House is that they don’t just throw you into the deep end. You have a support system around you, and you can always turn to staff members if you have questions or concerns. They’re also very flexible with your schedule. Allowing you to choose the days that work for you. But the important thing is just to remain consistent and just remember to come in with an open mind and be positive, polite, and helpful. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. That’s what I would say.”
If you are interested in volunteering at Alexandra House or any of our other services, please check out the volunteer page on our website for more information.