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Volunteers Week 2020 - Volunteer Stories Day 1

29 May 2020 - 11:40 by barkery.jammeh

Hi all,

Here is our second Volunteer story for today with Katrina from Breakthrough UK. 

Volunteer name: Katrina

Volunteer age: 31

Where are they from: Manchester

What's their volunteer role and what do they do in that role:

Katrina supports organisations to be more accessible as part of TfGM Disability Design Reference Group and Manchester International Festival’s Disabled Person’s Engagement Group. Katrina is a superstar volunteer and is a pleasure to be around. Katrina is approachable, calm, patient, responsive, flexible, reliable, trustworthy and positive and is always willing to go the extra mile. Katrina always has a smile and a sunny, fun, kind personality.

Katrina has completed over 24 volunteer sessions and has helped several Breakthrough staff with various tasks including:

• Identifying opportunities, researching activities and groups that other disabled people may wish to take part in and sharing these with staff
• Accompanying isolated disabled people to weekly activities. One match didn't work out as the individual didn't end up being ready for the support but Katrina was still willing to help others. She supports a man to get to and from a sports club each week. Group to giants, Katrina has volunteered with other disabled people on a 1:1 basis and has worked with others via the phone.
• Katrina also makes a difference in our office, photocopying, answering calls, shredding, printing and typing up notes
• Making up packs of leaflets to promote Breakthrough’s projects
• Recording client feedback (data entry for project monitoring and evaluation)
• Reminding members of a peer group of the next meeting which is helpful to the women and so is very useful.
• Calling VCSE and other groups to promote a health screening project we ran to gather disabled people's experiences of health screenings. Katrina showed resilience and an analytical solution focused approach undertaking this rather thankless task which involved the usual voice messages or lack of response. She logged the results and reached some groups that we would've struggled to reach otherwise.
• Inviting professionals to Breakthrough’s Social Model of Disability Training course
• Researching digital tech accessibility solutions such as software (recording on a spreadsheet including quotes and links)
• Helping record community fundraising event income, counting cash

Katrina has developed skills in Microsoft Word, Outlook, excel, internet, and using the guillotine, laminator etc.The tasks haven’t always been the most rewarding task but Katrina tried her best and always assists. Katrina understands some of her strengths and we appreciate the effort Katrina makes to stretch outside her comfort zone and takes on feedback.

How long have you/they been volunteering for:

Last year Katrina completed Breakthrough’s volunteer training.

How did they get involved with volunteering:

Breakthrough worked with Katrina in the past, supporting her to volunteer with UK Cheerleading Association (UKCA) and get a part time job in a local café over 7 years ago.

Why did they get involved in volunteering:

To boost employability skills, meeting and helping people,

What do you enjoy most about volunteering:

It’s good, I like everything, making friends.

What difference has volunteering made to their life:

More confidence to open up, mates say I’ve come along way and changed in a few years

How does volunteering make you feel:

“Volunteering makes me feel good, proud, happy, I love working in a team, you show me what to do and I get it and get it done, we’re always at it!”

What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering:

Do it- it can boost confidence and help you to speak up

What’s your favourite volunteering memory:

I won a big trophy for UKCA.

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