Meet some of our Volunteers

Meet some of our amazing volunteers and find out what volunteering with Dimensions means to them.

Amelia

Amelia Nock, Nutrition Volunteer
Amelia Nock, Nutrition Volunteer

“The best thing I love about my volunteer role is that I am able to use my skills in order to help people.

I think it is important to do volunteering as volunteering is a rewarding experience. Volunteering at Dimensions is important to me, because it allows me to guide and increase people’s knowledge in nutrition. If I can help people in any way, then that is time well spent.”

Nazmin

“Volunteering to me means, using the knowledge, experience, skills or passion I have and putting it to good use for the community and help people in need. Volunteering enhances my gratitude, sense of purpose and professional life values. Volunteering as a nutrition assistant for Dimensions UK has been a rewarding experience, I have gained gratitude, sense of purpose, developed my nutrition support skills. I have sincerely enjoyed volunteering with Dimensions because of the amazing staff, other volunteers, and support workers. The Dimensions community is truly supportive and motivated to empower the people we support and to volunteer alongside them has been a highly positive experience!” – Nazmin Begum, Nutrition Volunteer

If that’s inspired you to get stuck into some volunteering, email the team to find out what you could do: volunteering@dimensions-uk.org

Sarah

“I am really thankful to have the opportunity to volunteer with dimensions, it is a great way to help others and has helped my confidence. Everyone I have spoken to has been lovely and the volunteer training is really useful, If anyone is thinking about volunteering I would urge them to.” – Sarah Myers, Nutrition Volunteer

Jodine

Jodine Smyth, Nutrition Volunteer
Jodine Smyth, Nutrition Volunteer

“The best thing about the volunteering role is that I am helping to make a real difference to the health and well-being of the people who are supported by the staff working for Dimensions. It is also great to know that the resources I make can be used by the staff themselves, helping them to also make healthier changes in their own lives.

To me, volunteering at Dimensions means that I am able to use my knowledge to make a positive impact to others whilst developing new skills that will help me in my future career.”

If that’s inspired you to get stuck into some volunteering, email the team to find out what you could do: volunteering@dimensions-uk.org

Andy

Andy Roberts, sports and music volunteer, and virtual volunteer
Andy Roberts, sports and music volunteer, and virtual volunteer

“I love the variety of what I am involved in, which ranges from an online music club and one-to-one ukulele/guitar/singing sessions, to football training and helping the residents of a local house. I do miss the weekly Social Club that I first became involved in and helped to run, but which stopped due to social restrictions; it is exciting to think that this could restart again soon though, and I am really looking forward to seeing everyone again!

I find it incredibly rewarding to see the enjoyment that these activities bring to those involved, which makes me feel that I have achieved something very worthwhile and made a difference. And without even realising it (until I wrote this!), I have also gained new skills and confidence.

Through volunteering I have met some wonderful people who are passionate and dedicated to what they do, and who I am glad to volunteer alongside”

If that’s inspired you to get stuck into some volunteering, email the team to find out what you could do: volunteering@dimensions-uk.org

Emma

“The best thing about my volunteer role is that I get to help people live their best lives through supporting them with healthy lifestyle changes.

Volunteering at dimensions to me means equality, respect, love, and compassion for everybody.”

Rhion

Meet Rhion!

This month we’re shining the ‘volunteer spotlight’ on Rhion Williams, whose volunteering experience led her to befriend Angela, a person we support in Wales.

Rhion says:
“I’ve been volunteering as part of the ‘Be a Buddy’ scheme in Dimensions, and I was partnered up with Angela based on our interests. I had left my job and felt it was the perfect opportunity to finally do some volunteering, now that I had all this spare time on my hands, but I also did it because I wanted to feel a part of something.

“I can honestly say, volunteering has helped me just as much as it has (hopefully!) helped Angela. I have made a friend and genuinely look forward to catching up each week.

“We go to the gym, followed by bowling and food in town. It’s got me back into the gym and reminded me how much I love bowling – despite Angela winning EVERY time! It was especially rewarding as the weeks went on and I could tell Angela felt more comfortable around me, as our conversations lasted longer and became more wide-ranging.

“I can’t recommend volunteering enough – especially with Dimensions. They always check in and ask how things are going.”

Claire, the lead support worker at Angela’s house, says:

“Rhion has had such a positive impact and Angela really enjoys having her as a volunteer – they have a really great relationship. Rhion started off volunteering just for a couple of hours but, as they get on so well, Rhion now spends the whole day with Angela. Angela has become a lot more confident since having Rhion as a volunteer and she has gained more independence as she arranges her volunteer day directly with Rhion without any staff involvement.’

If Angela and Rhion’s story has inspired you to recruit a volunteer for a person you support, please speak to your line manager or (if you are the manager) contact the volunteering team for assistance: volunteering@dimensions-uk.org

Tina

Meet Tina!

The volunteer spotlight this month shines a light on Dimensions colleagues who give up a bit of time to do something different. Volunteering is a great way for colleagues in business support to connect with the people we support.

Tina Woffington, Learning Services Manager in Dimensions, shared her recent experience of volunteering at Dunstans Drive. Tina was joined by two colleagues, supported by the Volunteering team, responding to a call for help with the garden at Dunstans Drive: the grass needed cutting, shrubs needed pruning, the fence needed painting, and there were weeds and brambles to deal with…

Here’s what Tina says:

“I’ve volunteered in some capacity all my life, from when my children were little (play group, clubs, etc). I’ve marshalled local club running races, the London Marathon and I was also a Games Maker.

“So what attracted me to volunteering to help with the garden at Dunstans Drive? Simply because I like volunteering… the more I give, the happier it makes me. I am fortunate to work in a department where my line manager (Simon Gosney) is supportive of volunteering and happy for me to take some time out of my working day to volunteer. I work hard at my job and know I’ll find a way to catch up with my tasks, with a bit of extra effort.

“I’m not a good gardener – I don’t always know a weed from a flower – but I do have the ability to dig, prune, mow, or sweep. What I am trying to say, is that everyone can find something they are good at when gardening – you really don’t have to be Monty Don off ‘Gardeners’ World’.

“I came away happy from my volunteering stint, because I’d helped transform a scruffy and unkempt front garden into a tidy, looked-after garden. It was so rewarding. Lenka (the Locality Manager) and her colleagues work hard supporting. They don’t have time to garden and there is no funding for a gardener – they just needed a hand.

“We did have a little bit of extra help… I was just a little bit cheeky… Two men from The Green Company, who happened to be working on the garden next door, wanted access to the back garden of Dunstans Drive, to be able to cut an overhanging shrub. I spotted two huge lawn-mowers on their truck and before I knew it I saying, “If I make you a cup of tea would you run your lawn-mower over the front lawn?” They said “yes” and they were amazing: they did even more than we asked, at the front and the back of the property, strimming, mowing, clipping and clearing up after themselves, all for a cup of tea and biscuit. There are some lovely, lovely people in this world.”

If that’s inspired you to get stuck into some volunteering, email the team to find out what you could do: volunteering@dimensions-uk.org

Jenny

Jenny
Meet Jenny!

Our monthly volunteering spotlight shines a light on the contribution that volunteers make to Dimensions and the people we support. Volunteering provides valuable experience to the volunteer and in some cases it has been a chance to learn about Dimensions before going on to a paid role. During National Volunteers’ Week we also heard from managers about how volunteers have supported their teams (scroll down on the blog to find them). This month, we interviewed Jenny Ng about her experiences of volunteering with Dimensions.

Jenny said: “I began volunteering with Dimensions around January 2017, as a Community Volunteering Champion (CVC) in Portsmouth. Later in the year, I applied for a paid position as Regional Assistant for Outreach 3Way, and began in this role in September 2017, providing administrative support to the Operations Director and Locality Managers and helping to ensure the smooth running of the office. Although the two roles aren’t directly related, I’m really passionate about volunteering and chose to continue being a CVC alongside my paid role, in Outreach 3Way. This can be challenging at times, but I see volunteers as an untapped resource that can really add extra value to our services. It’s all about managing to find and retain the right people!

“As a Community Volunteering Champion, I support Locality Managers to recruit for suitable volunteers to enhance their services. This includes writing the role descriptions, creating marketing materials and making connections within the community to help spread the word locally about available roles.

“Volunteers usually offer their time because they want to give back and have a particular skill they would like to share. For example, a volunteer with an art background might come up with creative ways of engaging people we support in arts and crafts activities. Volunteers also bring a fresh take on current activities, which can be a real boost.

“Creating a new role for a volunteer could also provide a great opportunity for a person you support to meet new people and make new connections based on shared interests. I would definitely recommend colleagues consider engaging a volunteer.”

Email volunteering@dimensions-uk.org to get the ball rolling!

Nick

Meet Nick!

“I have been volunteering with Discovery since they started, although I originally began volunteering with the people who transferred to Discovery in 2006.

“I mainly give my time to the Sea Horse Centre. A lot of the customers there do not have family involvement in their life and I feel I am one of the few people in their lives which are not paid to be there, so we have a different relationship.

“It is more relaxed, jokey and helps them to have more of a normal life.

“When I retired from the forces what I really missed was interaction with colleagues, being part of a team and volunteering has given me that back and of course makes you feel good and warm inside, offering people the opportunity to do things that they might not otherwise do.

“I do a wide range of things during my volunteering.  Originally I was teamed up with a gardening group and I do that every Tuesday.

“I asked the people we support if we could do anything, what would it be? They always say a walk in the countryside or on Exmoor, so we do that lot and they love it.

“A lot of people live independently so I visited them and have taken them hawk flying on the moors, it’s fantastic they put the bird on their arm, will put a piece of meat in their hands and watch it feed, they absolutely love it.

“I also chair a friends group to raise money for the centre, xmas lunches, getting musicians in etc.”

Find out more about volunteering with Dimensions.

Jennifer

Meet Jennifer!

Our monthly ‘Volunteer Spotlight’ shines a light on volunteers in Dimensions. This month, we spoke to Jennifer Buckley, a volunteer ‘buddy’ in Wales, who was nominated by a person we support, Kelly.

In Kelly’s own words: “Jen comes and picks me up a couple of times a week and we do lovely things together like going to the cinema, going for lunch and going for walks around the park.

I really enjoy my time with Jen. It makes me really, really happy and we laugh lots. Jen makes me motivated and I like having her to talk to.”

Jennifer says: “I’ve only been volunteering since the first week of January but I can’t praise volunteering in Dimensions enough.

“I applied to be a volunteer buddy and was matched with a lady called Kelly, who has learning disabilities and cerebral palsy. Twice a week we get together and do fun activities such as going out for food, to bowling, or to bingo.

“I had never played bingo before, so Kelly got the opportunity to teach me some new things, which she loved! Already, we are like best friends. She told me recently that I am ‘the best volunteer ever’ and have made her happy, since her mum died last year.

“As we both lost our mums recently, on Mothers’ Day this year we went for lunch. I suggested we make a Mothers’ Day card together, to remember our mums by. It was a really lovely moment and she is going to share the card we made with her family.

“I started volunteering as part of my Community Health and Wellbeing degree, but I enjoy it so much, I can’t see myself stopping. I get so much happiness from it and from seeing Kelly happy, too.

“It has changed my life for the better”.

Find out more about volunteering with Dimensions.