When I joined Healthwatch Wigan and Leigh as a volunteer I was apprehensive as I had retired from work a few years ago. I knew that I would be in a new environment meeting new people and this was something I had not done since leaving work.
Why do I volunteer?
People ask me ‘why do you volunteer’ and sometimes I don’t always have a reply. I believe this is because each day gives me a different reason as to why I volunteer with Healthwatch Wigan and Leigh.
Building my confidence is one of the main reasons why I volunteer. I am based within the Healthwatch Wigan and Leigh office and I get the opportunity to be involved in lots of different projects, but my main responsibilities are around admin support for the team. I really enjoy helping the team in this way, I feel really valued and get to volunteer flexibly around my busy life!
Gaining new skills is the second reason why I volunteer with Healthwatch Wigan and Leigh. After I left work in the early 2000s, my digital skills have been something that I have wanted to develop more. I am confident using a computer and mobile phone, however working within an office environment has enabled me to enhance my digital skills further and learn new innovative ways of doing things, especially on a computer. I particularly enjoy creating posters and adverts for Healthwatch, it is a creative role and something which is visual for me to get involved in.
Most of all, the reason why I volunteer is because I can see how Healthwatch Wigan and Leigh makes a difference to local residents. The staff team go out of their way to help people and as a volunteer this is great to see, it makes you feel that you are making valuable contributions. Overall, volunteering gives me a new sense of independence and confidence, I feel like a valued member of the team and volunteering brings a smile to my face every day!