Volunteer Spotlight - Anthony
We’re lucky at Your Voice Counts to be supported by a team of dedicated volunteers who give their time to help us reach more people who need our support.
In return, our volunteers benefit from valuable and rewarding work experience, training and development opportunities and mentoring and support from our staff team.
Anthony has been volunteering with us since 2019, providing valuable support to us during the pandemic and developing his own skills and confidence while studying at university. He recently graduated and we’re delighted he’s been successful in joining our staff team as a Peer Researcher.
“I have been volunteering with Your Voice Counts since 2019, while studying Sociology at Sunderland University. As a volunteer I mostly supported people at the drop-ins where YVC’s clients go to socialise but to also get help and support within the community.
I believe that I am an easy person to talk to and a few members of the staff have told me that I have a way to keep calm and that this makes it easy for people to talk and open up. During these times a few clients have talked to me about personal and difficult things that have happened to them in the past or present. With situations like this I believe it is important to have an open mind and my place is not to judge or give advice but to listen, reassure them and pass on that information onto the Community Connectors so that they can give the appropriate support.
At the end of my Sociology degree in 2022, a research project came up with YVC that was funded by the Integrated Care Service (ICS) and is covering the North East and North Cumbria. This project is peer research that is looking at the experiences of adults around the support or the little support received before, during and after the autistic diagnostic assessment. This is relative to myself, as I received a diagnosis of being autistic in 2022 and the experiences of going through this process was one of anxiety and feeling in limbo with no support during my time waiting for an assessment. With this I hope the research project will help to improve the experiences of people waiting for a diagnosis assessment and the support they receive afterwards.
My time volunteering has helped to build my skills in communication and to be open to new situations. Also, with these roles it has been interesting to meet other organisations and other autistic people to find out their experiences and what they are personally doing to help improve the lives of autistic people.
I also look forward to continuing with working and supporting at the drop-ins, meeting/working with old and new clients and helping in any way that I can. I think the skills that I have built on are relative to my employment roles within Your Voice Counts because as an organisation they are focused on working within the community and getting the voices heard of those that may not get listened to as much.
They also have a focus on co-production, bringing organisations, communities and people together to improve the lives of those with a learning disability or autistic people. I believe these skills are suited to working at Your Voice Counts.”
Volunteer with us
Visit Jobs and volunteering | Your Voice Counts (yvc.org.uk) for details of our current volunteering roles or get in touch with our Volunteer Coordinator Ann Henderson if you have any ideas about the type of volunteering you would like to get involved in – call 0191 478 6472 or email email@example.com.