I get satisfaction from helping others in similar situations: Neil’s story
How do you support the National Deaf Children’s Society?
I started volunteering as a Family Member Volunteer, then moved into other roles. I reviewed volunteer training materials, assisted with Your Community, and was part of the volunteers’ co-production group.
These days I focus on areas where I can give my time around my day job when I’m needed. The main activity I’m engaged in is helping with the Consortium for Research into Deaf Education (CRIDE) survey report. I create formulas in Excel to show easy-to-read and colour-coded data from the survey report. The results from this survey help the National Deaf Children’s Society decide how to best support deaf children, young people and their families.
What inspired you to become a volunteer?
Our two boys (17 and 15) wear hearing aids. When they were in primary school, we regularly attended Young Authors and Artists Competition events run by the National Deaf Children’s Society at our local city hall in Northern Ireland. I thought these were positive events and so I decided that I’d like to give some of my own time to support the National Deaf Children’s Society.
What is your favourite thing about volunteering?
I like being able to give something back to a charity like the National Deaf Children’s Society. I enjoy using my professional IT skills to help support deaf children and their families.
What inspires you to stay involved as a volunteer?
Seeing the great work that the National Deaf Children’s Society does across the UK and being able to contribute to that in an indirect way.
How does your volunteering benefit deaf children, young people and their families?
When I was a Family Member Volunteer at family events, I could clearly see how beneficial these kinds of activities are for families. Now I’m more removed from the face-to-face aspects of volunteering, I still feel I make an indirect contribution to deaf children, young people and their families through the support I provide behind the scenes.
What have you gained from volunteering?
I get satisfaction from doing something that helps other people and from helping others in similar situations. I’ve also learnt more about the vast range of National Deaf Children Society activities and services.
What support have you received from the National Deaf Children’s Society to help you in your role?
Throughout my different roles, everyone at the charity has been fantastic. I’ve had catch-up calls to see how things are going, and they have provided support to help me put together materials for presentations. More recently, when I asked to change the type of volunteering I do, the team were happy to help me find a suitable role.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?
I would say, please get involved and have that initial conversation about the best route for you. With lots of opportunities to choose from, there’s something for everyone. I’m so glad I made that first enquiry.