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  • #74401
    Your thoughts for the next Target MD

    Hi all

    I’m working on the next edition of Target MD. It seems one goes out and the next one begins – relentless, I tell you. Relentless! :-)

    The theme for the next mag is volunteering. And I’d love to hear your thoughts about being a volunteer, if you’ve done so in any capacity or context, so that I can include them in the overall feature.

    How would you describe volunteering?

    If you’ve been a volunteer, how would you describe your experience?

    Would you encourage anyone else to volunteer? What is the single most important feature – for you – of volunteering?

    Thank you so much!
    Ruth

    writerRuth
    Participant
    Posts: 141
    Joined: 22/06/2011
    #85513
    Re: Your thoughts for the next Target MD

    i was watching “War Hero In My Family” the other night and Paddy Ashdown remarked on something he experienced, you volunteer yourself but when someone else volunteers you they called it voluntold :lol: thats a keeper!

    Volunteering – I am one, as a mod here. The decisive factor for my sending the email expressing interest was because I could do it at home, it did not require any transport considerations, does not require the assistance of a carer, and the loo is near, lol.

    If I was more able, I would consider volunteering for such things as helping at the local librry [all back of Super Dave’s Big Community aspect thingy] or in a local charity shop. But it is access and what my capabilities are that scupper many plans.

    I'm always the animal, my body's the cage

    I blog about nothingness www.amgroves.com

    AM
    Participant
    Posts: 4,751
    Joined: 05/03/2015
    #85514
    Re: Your thoughts for the next Target MD

    Hey AMG

    Voluntold: I love it! How hilarious!

    Yes, I guess if being a volunteer isn’t your choice, then you’re not volunteering. Like when I say to my husband, “Can I volunteer you to help at the Marathon?” then he’s being roundly voluntold. Hahaha.

    Thanks so much for your thoughts about your role as volunteer mod – really helpful.

    Speak soon
    Ruth

    writerRuth
    Participant
    Posts: 141
    Joined: 22/06/2011
    #85515
    Re: Your thoughts for the next Target MD

    Hi Ruth

    I have done a few different voluntary jobs and the nature of them has changed according to my physical abilities. My first voluntary job was editing magazine articles for a Talking Newspaper distributor and I answered the advert because I wanted to experience the world of work and ultimately feel useful. I then volunteered for the Stroke Association, doing home visits to help with Speech Therapy and then volunteered at my local school to help with research for the course I was taking with the OU – this one led to a paid position which I was able to do for 7 years until it physically became too demanding. I was finding it a struggle and it was around that time that I saw the TalkMD advert.

    I also volunteer for my local Citizens Advice and have the flexibility of going in when I can or work from home as it is reach based work but it allows me to work as a team as well. The Internet/email is a brilliant thing and I find I can do so much from home. I would say however, that I have got a lot out of meeting and working alongside some brilliant people and the social contact is a big part of volunteering for me whether it is virtual contact or in person.

    Some weeks I find I can’t do much, appointments crop up all over the place, going out can wear me out or just lack of sleep can have a big effect on what I do so volunteering is a good way for me to balance being occupied and mentally stimulated with doing what is best for my physical health.

    Hmmm, gone on a bit haven’t I? :shock: I guess it is something that has been very important to me over the years.

    A learning experience is one of those things that say, “You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.” - Douglas Adams

    sar78 sar78
    Moderator
    Posts: 2,246
    Joined: 05/03/2015
    #85516
    Re: Your thoughts for the next Target MD

    I’ve done bits and pieces over the years – I help out in a shop (not exactly a charity shop but kind of along those lines) once a fortnight and I’ve helped out with young people and international students through church. I am in the fortunate position of being able to work almost full time so my volunteering has always been a weekend and evening ‘extra’. Through volunteering I’ve met some great people and I’ve had the privilege of being a little part of something that makes a real difference to people’s lives – I think it’s a general rule of these things that you get out more than you put in – it’s what we were designed for if you will.

    Ailsa
    Participant
    Posts: 17
    Joined: 09/12/2011
    #85517
    Re: Your thoughts for the next Target MD

    I was a British Red Cross Volunteer for 8 years until about 2002 working with all sorts of people from Albanian refugees to training ambulance staff and running communications for large events (first aid/ambulance dispatch etc). I also attended events like helping with royal funerals and emergency response things. Loved human rights/humanitarian type information work as so few people know what the Red Cross is about locally and internationally. I also did casualty simulation where you train to act, do make up and set up scenes to simulate things like a car crash or having a medical condition. I think all the screaming probably gave my lungs some exercise so it kept me healthy!

    Got up to all sorts socially ;-) including audio describing a cabaret ‘strip’ show for our blind guests on Red Cross Holidays for disabled people – loved it! I was pretty much included in everything – there was no such think as ‘can’t’ because of health and safety etc, we just got on and did it and lifted and carried me into places if necessary.

    In a way I still do voluntary work like I’m writing a book chapter for the Open University around social care and a lot of ‘consultation’ events where disabled folks don’t get paid for our expertise or do things online – it’s still voluntary giving?

    I think, if we can, we owe it to others to do our bit and apply our skills to helping people/communities if we can and fill our time doing something useful and pleasurable. I think its hugely important to challenge people’s misconceptions that disabled people are just on the receiving end of voluntary support and show people we are as much givers and helpers as anyone else. Especially if you have a sever impairment and appear very ‘limited’. :D

    criptic
    Participant
    Posts: 307
    Joined: 15/03/2011
    #85518
    Re: Your thoughts for the next Target MD

    Hey sar78, Ailsa and criptic

    Thanks so much for your responses – so valuable and helpful (just like your volunteering). I really appreciate your taking the time to tell me of your experiences; I think it will be so motivating to TargetMD readers.

    Have a lovely week
    Ruth

    writerRuth
    Participant
    Posts: 141
    Joined: 22/06/2011
    #85519
    Re: Your thoughts for the next Target MD

    I spent quite a long time researching my family history [entirely online] and wanted to help others do the same as it has proved a valuable experience for me and my family. I used a website called freeBMD to trace lots of my ancestors, and the reason I used it was because it is free. Almost every other genealogical website makes a charge to look at records. So I volunteered to transcribe for freeBMD seven years ago and have been doing transcribing ever since. It is all done on the computer at home, so I have no worries about travel, toilets, making sure I am available at certain times and so on. I just do as much as I want to whenever I want. During the times when I’ve been out of action it’s not a problem if I don’t do any transcribing for a few weeks.

    For me, volunteering helps me to contribute to a valuable resource [allbeit in a very small way] at the same time as belonging to a very large “workforce” of volunteers all around the world. I enjoy what I do and ultimately hope that some of my work is helpful to others researching their family trees. Transcribing also keeps my typing skills up to scratch as I have to be accurate and check everything I do.

    Sybylla :)

    sybyllascarlett
    Participant
    Posts: 383
    Joined: 07/02/2012
    #85520
    Re: Your thoughts for the next Target MD

    Hi Sybylla

    Thanks for this feedback. It sounds like you’re making a really meaningful contribution to a process that is so important to you and your family, as well as so many other people. And you’re keeping up your skills. Brilliant.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.
    Have a great week
    Ruth

    writerRuth
    Participant
    Posts: 141
    Joined: 22/06/2011
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