Volunteers Week 2023 – John’s story

“I started volunteering in January 2017 with the intention of gaining experience working in the support services sector. At the time I was living in a supported accommodation for people facing issues around drugs and alcohol, after losing my job and becoming homeless.

I had an old friend who worked for Riverside after volunteering himself and after meeting by chance, we discussed volunteering opportunities after I expressed my interest in doing so. He introduced me to Debbie, our volunteer co-ordinator and I signed up to become a volunteer.

I was a volunteer in Riverside for a period of 7 months and during this time I got to experience all aspects of what Riverside offers. Having an interest solely in the support services, I was keen to have involvement with Floating Support Tier 1&2, Disperse, Waves of Hope and Green Lane Hostel. This gave me a broad view on how different branches of Riverside operate and widened my knowledge around the issues people face. Having built my knowledge and confidence over the 7 months volunteering I was certain that a job in support work was what I wanted.

A position for a GROW trainee came up in Floating Support shortly after, which I applied for and successfully acquired. A month into my new role and I’m actively out in the community working drop-in centres supporting customers who are facing issues I previously had.

After being out of work for 2 years, securing a role as a GROW trainee has given me a boost in confidence and a positive outlook on the future.

I wish to continue to progress in my role and secure full time permanent employment within Riverside in the future.”

John, Support Worker

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