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Why I volunteer

Our volunteers undertake a range of roles. Read their stories below to find out what they do and what volunteering for Swindon Carers Centre means to them.

 

Gary’s story

Gary volunteers with our Young Carers Team at the activities they run during school holidays.

 

 

“Volunteering for Swindon Carers Centre is a great experience and it never feels like work.

“I enjoy working with kids and volunteer alongside the staff, helping to supervise young carers attending and ensuring there is an appropriate number of responsible adults to run the activities safely.

“Young carers range in age from five to 17 and there are a wide variety of activities that the team arranges to give them an opportunity to take time out from their caring responsibilities.

“Some of the trips I’ve accompanied them on include Harry Potter World, Thorpe Park and Warwick Castle (pictured). It’s really good fun!

“When the coach sets off in the morning on the trip it’s very quiet, but during the day friendships develop and on the way home it’s very noisy and there’s lots of interaction between the young carers.

“Seeing the transformation in them during the day and the enjoyment they get is really satisfying. The activities mean a lot to them because it’s a break from their caring role and gives them a chance to be children and not have to worry about the person they care for during the time they are with us. They also meet other young carers in similar situations who they can relate to.

“You don’t need particular experience to do this role, just common sense, empathy and being able to communicate.

“I’ve been volunteering with the team since 2017 after I retired. My wife, Shirley, also volunteers with the Young Carers Team by helping out at activities.

“The volunteering I do fits in with my lifestyle. The Young Carers Team are a good bunch and are always there to support me. Swindon Carers Centre is a very professional organisation and I feel valued and recognised.

“It’s a good feeling knowing that I’m helping young carers. By volunteering, I’m giving something back to help people and it doesn’t cost me anything.”

 

Roger’s story

Roger volunteers with our Adult Carers Events Team helping at activities attended by adult and older carers.

 

 

 

 

“Volunteering with Swindon Carers Centre is really fun and fulfilling.

“My role is to be a ‘plus one’ alongside the staff in the Events Team to ensure the activities are held safely for the carers who attend and that they have a good time.

“I’m a people person and making sure that carers are safe and happy comes naturally to me. Some carers just want to talk and have a laugh. I’m a good listener, a good talker and enjoy a good laugh so my role is perfect!

“I volunteer at our Carers Cuppas where carers meet up and chat and have refreshments. I hand out cups of teas and coffees and try to keep the conversations going. I also help at the regular Quiz Nights and they are a good laugh for everyone – the staff, volunteers and carers.

“Walk & Talk (pictured) is another event I volunteer at and is for carers to meet up each month and walk around Lydiard Park followed by refreshments in the café.

“My links with Swindon Carers Centre go back a few years when I was a registered carer for my late wife and soulmate Jenny. Being a carer was my most fulfilling role and Swindon Carers Centre was a godsend.

“Attending their events, meeting and chatting with other carers in similar circumstances meant I went from being a relatively lonely, isolated person (because of my carer role) to being surrounded by friendly people in the same circumstances as myself.

“When I lost Jenny it was Swindon Carers Centre – its staff, volunteers and fellow carers who were friends – who helped me get through the worst of it. This included attending The PATH Group, a friendship and social club for bereaved carers.

“After my period of bereaved care came to an end I asked if I could become a volunteer and I’ve been doing so since 2022.

“As a volunteer, I work with lovely and very hard-working people. It’s very rewarding to be part of the team helping carers to enjoy themselves while they have time away from their caring role.”