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Why volunteering matters

1 March 2019

“We’re just trying to look out for something positive, in a world where people are hitting brick walls a lot of the time”

Adrian talks about why volunteering at P3 Stroud has made a big difference to him and the lives of others…

All of my working life, as a project manager in IT, all I was really doing were things that didn’t really matter, making somebody else a lot of money, and that was the end product.

So what I’m getting out of volunteering now is to maybe, possibly, improve things for people and I go home quite buoyed up really.

Just last week, [I helped with] someone’s ESA payments - they couldn’t understand what had happened, they were a quivering wreck, and a simple phone call was all it took. So you can change someone’s whole outlook, just by helping a little bit, making them feel that it’s not impossible to get things sorted out. It can be a massive thing for them and a simple thing for me.

I know people volunteer for different reasons, but for me it’s a very real thing to be able to sit down with somebody and see them actually benefit from something.

I tell everybody I meet that they should be volunteering!

The guitar group

“It’s the chance to play in a group, we all encourage each other. You can’t be taught confidence, you have to experience it” – Tina, group member

We have about five regular members, including some people who’d never played guitar before. Now they’re playing well enough and confident enough to go out and play in public which has been great to see.

The local motorway services at Gloucester fund the space that we use for the guitar group, and they asked if we would play at the services. We went along with a charity bucket at Christmas and raised money for the local charity APT Stonehouse (All Pulling Together).

The group are really getting something out of this; people have got quite different backgrounds, and it’s providing social things for people to do but also confidence-building for anyone who struggles a bit with mixing with people and things like that.

Something positive

“Adrian is so willing to help staff and has a passion to help others. I have been part of the recruitment process for many volunteers over the years and Adrian is undoubtedly one of the best. P3 are lucky to have him.”

- P3 Stroud Support Worker Gale Bowstead

The support team at P3 Stroud

I have a client who has had a very difficult life, he’s quite anxious and is not comfortable around people. He was saying in the car one day that he wished he could find something to do and we went past this antique shop that he said sometimes hangs around because he likes the furniture.

I just asked him, if I found something where people were working with wood, would you be interested in going along? 

I did a bit of research and found this local Men’s Shed. It took a little while for him to go – I wouldn’t put him under any pressure, I just left it that if he wanted to go along I would take him there and introduce him, get him settled in.

It took him a few weeks to for him to get there. He’s not making it every week but he’s keen on it, he goes when he can, I think it’s been a good thing for him to do.

We’re just trying to look out for things that could provide something positive, in a world where people are hitting brick walls a lot of the time.