Reaping the Benefits of Volunteering
Updated: Sep 8, 2022
If you want a prime example of the power and potential of volunteering with us then look no further than the Dutch Barn, Garston, our special wellbeing retreat where volunteers blossom along with the flowers.
This peaceful plot shows first-hand the fantastic handiwork of all our visionary volunteers.
For example, on arrival you can spot their manmade pond, complete with budding lilies and rockery, their thriving garden patch, a colourful hand painted seating area and crafting cabins.
Then there’s the barn itself, a welcoming and warm centre decorated with an array of art and bunting. Today the Dutch Barn is our gathering place for volunteers to meet a new face, Volunteer Coordinator Abi Reese.
Abi is the lady responsible for the nationwide recruitment of volunteers at PSS. She has a big job ensuring that every volunteer at the Dutch Barn and beyond has a meaningful and rewarding experience with us which is tailored to their own personal needs and requirements.
“We would like our volunteers to benefit and gain from volunteering placements as much as the service does from having them,” Abi explained.
“Each of our volunteering placements are set up to be person centred to you, we assure that goals are set for all of our volunteers when starting. These goals will vary to what you would like to achieve during your time, such as gaining confidence, making a difference to people, meeting new people and making friends, been part of a community or learning new skills.”
Personal development is a huge aspect to volunteering, and to ensure that volunteers are getting the best out of their experience PSS offers one to one mentoring which encourages volunteers and staff to work together in collaboration.
“By keeping in touch with all volunteer placements, it gives me an opportunity to check volunteers are happy and getting the most from their roles. Also it’s proactive with seeking feedback to improve volunteering and ensuring co-production is at the heart of all we do,” Abi said.
We are incredibly fortunate at PSS to have a talented bunch of volunteers whose character and contributions have helped colour, create and improve our services.
Corinne, peer supporter and coordinator of Culture Vultures, said: “Volunteering makes me feel of use, gives me confidence and makes me feel alive. Plus I meet such lovely people along the way whilst going on adventures where I never stop learning and appreciating the world around me.”
Dutch Barn volunteer Adele said: "Volunteering has become part of my weekly routine. I know I'm doing something that makes a difference, that I believe is worthwhile and benefits my wellbeing and that of others.”
Abi began her journey as a volunteer herself and is keen to encourage others to give it a go.
“I've been a volunteer for as long as I can remember, and it's something that's close to my heart,” Abi said.
“I have gained so many skills and amazing experiences during my time volunteering, so I encourage you to give it a go! Volunteering gives you opportunities you may not get to encounter in everyday life such as meeting new people, gaining confidence and learning new skills.”
Interested in becoming a volunteer? Why not pop an email over to our Volunteer Coordinator Abi at Volunteer@pss.org.uk and she will be able to share and have a chat with you about all the roles that are currently available within PSS.