Success Stories

My name is Gemma from Revoe.

I love volunteering. I love giving people confidence and courage to do things. I am applying for jobs at the moment (NB. And has since been successful in securing a role), but if I could be a volunteer forever, I would.

My confidence has grown massively – I don’t shut up now!

At the beginning, I was shy and reserved – after attending some training, I steadily built myself up. I met my volunteer coordinator, Chrystal, just as I was finishing Build A Better You. We got to chatting at a Parent Forum meeting and at the time I wasn’t feeling too confident about being Parent Forum Secretary. With Chrystal, we developed my Personal Development Plan (PDP) which helped me to identify future goals, one of which was attending College. I started an Early Years Nursery Practitioner course in September 2019, and though I found it challenging; with hard work and support, I successfully completed the course in January 2020.
Now I am in the process of looking for a job as a Nursery Practitioner while still volunteering at Revoe Children’s Centre. To help me get a job, I also received help on making a CV from Chrystal.

My life has changed so much for the better over the past few years. If anyone is thinking of volunteering with the Volunteer Academy, I’d say: “Just do it! Go for it! Get on it!”

I needed to get out of the house and meet other people. I’d only been involved with Military life previously and that was all I knew, I moved to Blackpool and have had to start my life again – this has meant making new links in education, volunteering etc. It’s really been worth it.

It’s built my confidence and got me doing more things. I’ve met loads of new people who are like me and in a similar situation to myself.

I volunteer more for myself and to gain experience of being involved in my community. Before I started volunteering, I had nothing, I had just been on the dole since I left school.

The VA have always been helpful. I always know they’re there.

I became involved due to a request to help other Dads who were in a similar situation I found myself in. I had previously had a lot of difficulties in gaining access to my daughter and had lost hope at many points. The mental health effects and feelings of hopelessness were extreme – I just wanted to show Dads that there is a way to deal with the feelings they have and that they can resolve the situations they’re in. I wanted other Dads to know that they’re not alone – there are lots of Dads out there who are in a similar situation to the one I found myself in.

I think volunteering has helped me grow a great bond with my daughter.

Volunteering has helped me to meet new people and help other people effectively. It has helped me to learn new skills.

How has volunteering helped you?

It’s helped me in my business, and I feel really confident in my delivery now.

I have undergone a steep learning curve and learned so many new things – I didn’t realise before the true extent of deprivation and its effects in Blackpool. The L2F course also taught me statistics that shocked me regarding the number of babies admitted to hospital with upper GI problems and gastroenteritis.

I have made new connections in the Grange and at the VA, and I think I will continue to do so now that I have done the Learn 2 Feed Course and can get out in the community.

I love volunteering. I love giving people confidence and courage to do things. I am applying for jobs at the moment (NB. And has since been successful in securing a role), but if I could be a volunteer forever, I would.

My confidence has grown massively – I don’t shut up now!

At the beginning, I was shy and reserved – after attending some training, I steadily built myself up. I met my volunteer coordinator, Chrystal, just as I was finishing Build A Better You. We got to chatting at a Parent Forum meeting and at the time I wasn’t feeling too confident about being Parent Forum Secretary. With Chrystal, we developed my Personal Development Plan (PDP) which helped me to identify future goals, one of which was attending College. I started an Early Years Nursery Practitioner course in September 2019, and though I found it challenging; with hard work and support, I successfully completed the course in January 2020.
Now I am in the process of looking for a job as a Nursery Practitioner while still volunteering at Revoe Children’s Centre. To help me get a job, I also received help on making a CV from Chrystal.

My life has changed so much for the better over the past few years. If anyone is thinking of volunteering with the Volunteer Academy, I’d say: “Just do it! Go for it! Get on it!”

Volunteering has had a massive impact – before I volunteered, I didn’t know anyone, not a single person. I had just come out of bad relationship and was totally alienated with no friends, no family and absolutely no confidence. I wouldn’t go anywhere I didn’t know, and I didn’t know how to talk to people. I met a lady called Ash who was a volunteer with the VA. If she hadn’t have taken me to Grange Children’s Centre, I wouldn’t have met the Community Connector, Stacey, and I wouldn’t have met Emma or Chrystal from the VA. I would have been completely stuck; at the time I was so unsure, and I didn’t want to volunteer even – and I wouldn’t have done it without Ash – she’s my best friend – through her, my life has changed for the positive forever. She comes round to my house 2/3 nights a week, our kids are the best of friends, we all have tea together, play games and we support each other – we are more like family than friends, and I’ve got volunteering to thank for that.

If you need help or you are interested in volunteering, please get in touch.

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