This month we share two blog posts with you from two very different volunteers who share their thoughts on volunteering for the Trust.
My name is Sophie and I am 15 years old. I have been volunteering at Sebastian’s Action Trust for coming up to two years and I plan to carry on as I get older. When I was 13 I had decided to build up the confidence to write an email to the Trust asking if I can get involved. Obviously, I was quite anxious considering my age at the time and I didn’t know if I would be able to help. However, when I had received an email back I was more than excited and delighted to start volunteering.
Back when I was in junior school, I remember an assembly where volunteers/workers from Sebastian’s Action Trust came in to talk to us all about what they do and what the Trust is based on. Even though I was young at the time, it really touched me and I walked away from the hall that day and never forgot that assembly. It made me realise how lucky I was and it made me want to give my time to those who would appreciate it, and so that’s what I had decided to do.
Being a member of the Trust is something I will always be proud of and something I will always enjoy doing. By volunteering at events and going to The Bluebells to spend time with the children has benefited me in life too. It has made me have a brighter look on things, and made me realise that I am so fortunate and it’s upsetting that not every child can have this or always do what they want to do. For me, I do not enjoy school due to problems I have had to go through but volunteering at Bluebells gives me positivity, it makes me realise that there are many children that would love to be in my position right now and that’s what I focus on and what gives me the positivity to do things the right way.
One thing that I love about Sebastian’s Action Trust is that everyone involved (volunteers/families/supporters) is one big family. Everyone supports each other and the atmosphere is just amazing to be around. Every single volunteer, family member and supporter that I have met are the most caring and generous people and I believe that that’s what brings the Trust together and what makes it so special. Personally, volunteering for Sebastian’s Action Trust is the most wonderful thing I have ever done and I can’t wait to meet new families and volunteers.
I had been retired for a year and recently had my 70th birthday, I spent the first year of retirement catching up on all those jobs in the house I had been promising to do.I had done so much decorating I was becoming overcome with emulsion.The same applied to the garden, I had even built a mocker. It was supposed to be a rockery but it didn't quite go plan.
I wasn't missing work as such but I was certainly missing the people. I called into Bas Books - the Trust's bookshop in Bracknell - and picked up a volunteer application form and the rest is history. I have been volunteering now for eight years and it has added a new dimension to my life. I started by working two half days a week in the bookshop and enjoyed it so much I started to get involved in some of the events. I have stood outside Tesco holding a bucket, I have worn rabbits ears at the Easter Egg Hunt and I have even been Santa in Bentall. None of this of course is mandatory. I am currently helping out in the office in Bagshot doing some of the more time consuming tasks such as calling corporates to establish contact names. I also attend fundraising and family service events and try to help out wherever I am needed.
There is no age restriction to volunteering - most of the bookshop staff are in their 60s and 70s some in their 80s. We have also had a number of younger people who are seeking employment and by offering themselves as volunteers they are not only keeping their brain active, but it is good for their CV. We even had a lovely girl who was wheelchair bound, she was a complete inspiration and eventually secured a job on a hotel reception.
I have every intention of volunteering for as long as the Trust needs me and I still have my health and strength. I would encourage any retired person to think about becoming a volunteer - there is only so much Bargain Hunt and Judge Rinder you can watch!