Hi I’m Paul. I’ve been volunteering for just over a year now for A Better Tomorrow, which is an addiction recovery service for people with alcohol and drug problems.
I lead on the Mentoring, Mindfulness Art Group and Cooking Group. The cooking group is made up of 4 lads who meet once a week learning basic skills cooking from scratch bonding together eating healthy which is very important for recovery. It is a great opportunity to talk and open up about anything, especially about talking about problems in safe environment.
I was once a successful business man who had a bit of bad luck and so was in need of help and support. A Better Tomorrow offered me this and helped me turn my life around.
As part of the group it felt natural to grow and do volunteering and put back into the group what I had got out of it. The great thing is to see the lad’s progress from how they come into the project to how they grow with confidence within it.
There is no other place like A Better Tomorrow, I know it works as I have been on the journey too.
Being a part and having a passion for volunteering, helping others and giving back, you will get a lot out of it, it is well worth doing. It is a great opportunity if you have any spare time to learn new things.
Hi I’m Janet, I work mainly on the reception desk at the Park Lane Centre, I am also a director at the centre and Leegate Community Centre, and I am also chair of the events group, as well as being on the Park Lane events group I also help out with the events. I am also a trustee for Brookside Central community centre. I do the banking and finances for the Park Lane centre, also, I do the shopping for Woody’s Café.
I started volunteering for the Park Lane in 2004. Starting as a street rep, for the regeneration of the area. Then I was on the steering group for the build of Park lane centre. As part of this voluntary work I went on the Epic Course, a course that gave skills around consultation, design, planning and development through regeneration. Some of my early memories of the course have been around doing presentations at places like the Molineux and Sandwell Council. I have also been involved with Stoke On Trent about regeneration and how it made the difference to areas. I was one of the main contacts in regard of any local community problems before the Park Lane centre was built.
I really got involved in volunteer work after the loss of my husband in 2003. Before this I was involved in supporting local schools helping with school trips etc.
It was through regeneration and the Epic course that gave me skills and insights into what could not be done in regeneration of Woodside that I felt confident to become a volunteer.
I enjoy most about volunteering is giving something back to the community. Also because of being part of Park Lane at the beginning
‘I want to make it work. What you put into life you get back and it is important to treat everyone well’.
I believe I am a reliable person on the reception desk and that I have the skills and knowledge to be able to fill any role or job at the community centre.
Helping people who can’t help themselves so very important in the work we do, it is great to see them get through their problems
What I would say to any potential volunteers is that they will get out more than what you give!
I have many happy memories as a volunteer, of meeting working with people around the table. I enjoyed the EPIC Course and gaining an understanding why certain things can happen and why others are constrained.