Hi all, we hope you are still enjoying the fabulous stories we have been sharing this week. Next up we have Ru Yi Chang!
Name: Ru Yi Chang
Volunteer age: 20
Where are they from: Malaysia
What's their volunteer role and what do they do in that role:
Activity Mentor and Peer support group volunteer. To support disabled adults and increase their confidence in travelling to attend weekly supported sessions.
Ru Yi attended training on the social model of disability and also shadowed a Community Connector supporting a Community Connecting client to a volunteering session. Ru Yi also attended a Community Explorer meeting and provided feedback about ‘what’s on’ to support staff to keep up to date with local activity.
As a volunteer, Ru Yi has accompanied a member of a Women’s Peer Support Group to attend and take part in Breakthrough’s meetings. Ru Yi has also supported another Community Connecting client, called Karen to a "We are Here" focus group event, travelling to and from the venue. Karen said “It was very good thanks”.
Ru Yi recently attended training on understanding and working with challenging behaviour and fed back to Breakthrough. Ru Yi has always been friendly, communicative and helpful, wanting to ensure she does the best she can to a good standard.
How long have they been volunteering for:
Ru Yi applied to volunteer with Breakthrough a year ago.
How did they get involved with volunteering:
Ru Yi found out about Breakthrough via the Manchester University Volunteering Hub.
Why did they get involved in volunteering:
Having a close connection to someone with learning disability, it never fails to inspire me how simple and positive he perceives life as. It is also from my interaction with him that made me realise how important and how much joy is created from helping others.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering:
The positive impact and contribution I am having on the community. Knowing an action of mine is helping someone just makes me happy.
What difference has volunteering made to your life:
Joining the supported sessions were very eye-opening to me, seeing that everyone has a vulnerable side that is often hid away from people. It made me realise how important it is to pay attention to the feelings of people around me and to share that extra bit of love with everyone.
How does volunteering make you feel:
Volunteering made me appreciative of every little thing that everyone is capable of doing and to value the kindness that is circulating in the community.
What would they say to someone thinking about volunteering:
If you have that little extra time and effort, do go ahead and sign up to be a volunteer! Volunteering has really made me stand by the saying: “the best feeling of happiness is when you are happy because you have made someone else happy.”
What’s your favourite volunteering memory:
“I am beyond grateful to be a part of Breakthrough. The trainings and volunteering sessions have been very informative and memorable. I would look forward to the weekly session with a connecting client. Having a break throughout the stressful University week to speak to the ever-so-cheerful young woman was always a happy session. I remember once we were teasing each other for snacking too much during the session as I was walking her home. A young mum crossing the road beside us heard our conversation and decided to join in by saying ‘That sounds like a great party. Can I join as well?’, giving us the sweetest smile. That was how we made a new friend!
It is not just the clients whom I supported that are part of the experience. The other women in the sessions were also among the sweetest persons I have ever met. Receiving a Christmas card with my uncommon name spelled correctly for example, genuinely warmed my heart. A day spent volunteering for Breakthrough never fails to brighten up the rest of my week. Glad I discovered this gem on the University volunteering hub!!"