I got into volunteering while serving behind the bar in a Cardiff pub. I was explaining to some of the regulars that I was interested in becoming a social worker, but was unsure if I could get a place in university, as I needed to do volunteering in order to secure a place.
One of the regulars, Lisa Morgan, explained that she worked for Dimensions and they may be able to help. So I gave her my contact details to pass onto the volunteering team and we started the process.
The volunteering officer and I met in a coffee shop near my house and chatted about Dimensions, roles available, and my course requirements. It sounded just like what I needed to help me get on my course. So we did all the necessary checks – DBS, references etc. which were really easy and straightforward.
Then I wrote a One Page Profile about myself. This was a little scary – but it helped me to get placed in a Dimensions house.
I was placed in Holly Court, an amazing service, where Dimensions support four lovely ladies – Sarah, Natasha, Angela and Debbie. Usually, I work one day shift a week, depending on my shifts in the pub.
The ladies are fabulous, and have taught me so much about myself and about people with learning disabilities. They are all so different, so funny and so busy! They are always out doing different activities.
Volunteering here has helped me understand how organisations can support people in the community and ensure those people live well.
One of my favourite activities is to support the ladies to pool club on a Tuesday evening. They have a good laugh and meet with their friends from other Dimensions houses, as well as friends met through activities. The ladies love pool club. It’s great to see them having fun, socialising – and playing pool better than me!
With Dimensions’ help I have been lucky enough to secure a place at Cheltenham University to study Social Work and could not be happier.
I had always thought I would want to work with Children, but now I am not so sure. I am considering specialising in working with adults with learning disabilities.
At first I did not expect to enjoy volunteering as much as I have. In fact, I have enjoyed it so much that I am going to continue volunteering at Holly Court until September when I head off to Cheltenham.
Thank you Dimensions for giving me this opportunity!
If you would like to find out more about volunteering with us, take a look at our volunteering page.
There’s all the information you will need, plus you can take a look at a wide range of available roles from ‘photographer’ to ‘pub buddy’.