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I wanted to give something back:” why Ben volunteers alongside his job

1 June 2023

After illness made him reassess his priorities, Ben decided to volunteer one day a week.

Ben works as a chartered accountant in Essex.

After a serious illness made him reassess his priorities in life, he chose to reduce his working hours, which opened up the opportunity to volunteer one day a week.

He saw online that VoiceAbility provided support for people in nearby Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and got in touch.

He’s now been volunteering since January 2023.

Ben was born with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.

I’ve had a lot of different issues in my life with my disability, my care package, my housing situation and many more,” he says.

I’ve experienced so much in my life, but am now in quite a fortunate position – so I wanted to use these experiences to do something to assist other people.

I realise this may be a bit cliché, but I wanted to give something back.

In my first week volunteering I spoke to a client and made notes about her situation. I went away and completed the actions we discussed after talking it through with VoiceAbility’s volunteer manager Jacqui.

I rang the client back a week later and she was so pleased I can had come back to her and did what I said I would. I got a real buzz and could tell that what I was putting forward could really make a difference in her life.

If you’re thinking of volunteering, I’d say go for it. It’s really rewarding as you get to use your knowledge and skills for a really good purpose.”

In my case, it’s really different to my day job’ as an accountant, so I like that contrast.

Volunteering with VoiceAbility might mean many different things: raising awareness of services, providing practical support like distributing information or recording notes, and working directly with people. 

VoiceAbility volunteers ensure that people facing mental health challenges, people living in care homes, and people who are detained in hospital can relate to another person and get support when needed.