My name is Jemma, I am 31 years of age
and stay in Armadale, West Lothian.
I have been a volunteer for almost 15 years.
My volunteering journey started in 2003 with the British Heart Foundation. My role was as a retail assistant. This meant I was pricing/tagging items for sale, tidying up around the shop and serving customers. I was with them for about a year and from this I gained confidence in dealing with the
public as well as obtaining skills in the retail sector.
My next role was with the Ability Centre where I took on admin duties including answering the
telephone and photocopying. From this I gained confidence in talking to members of the public over
the phone. I was with them until 2006 when I started college.
I started with the Voluntary Sector Gateway West Lothian in 2007 where my roles have varied over the years, from data input to answering the telephone, photocopying, help with print jobs which included folding and collating and, more recently, administering the Saltire Awards. I also helped out at events including Volunteers Week, the Volunteer of the Year Awards and Third Sector Forums.
I began volunteering as a way to get me out of the house and socialise with other people. I was also struggling to find paid employment. I feel very proud being a volunteer and I have received many awards throughout the years which I am extremely proud of. Volunteering has helped me to keep my mind focused and positive, despite having complex physical disabilities. I have not let my
disabilities affect me too much but I struggle with heavy lifting and I tire quite easily.
I have been working as a volunteer for many years and get a lot of enjoyment from volunteering. I have worked in many organisations that rely on volunteers such as citizens advice, museum, charity shops, befriending and offices.
I started work in the Voluntary Sector Gateway in Bathgate in December 2017 and have enjoyed working ever since. I have met many new people since working here and learned new skills especially working on the database.
Volunteering has benefited me greatly because it gives me something constructive to do and meet new people at the same time.
Comments from James Penman, Volunteer Manager
Frank contacted us directly such was his keenness to volunteer with his local Third Sector Interface having previously volunteered with the equivalent in Inverness.
We didn’t hesitate to take him on board as his experience meant he could ‘hit the ground running’ which is exactly what we were looking for in the administration role.
Frank is a very conscientious , keen and hardworking individual who is a credit to himself and the organisation.
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