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Volunteering Stories
 

 

Emma's Volunteering Story

“Before volunteering with Cornerstone I had been temping and job hunting for eight months after leaving university. I applied for lots of positions but didn’t get anywhere despite having had jobs throughout university, completed a degree and had a number of work experience placements.

I began an office based volunteering opportunity with Cornerstone within the marketing and communications team and I loved the variety of the role. In any one day I could be designing brochures, branding campaigns, writing press releases, planning events, editing the newsletter, organising mail outs or wearing our mascot outfit at a press call!

I wanted to work for a charity so my placement at Cornerstone suited me perfectly, and I have found it really rewarding. It has made me more confident in my abilities, I have developed my skill set, and I have been given so much responsibility in my time here.

i was lucky to be kept on in a permanent role within the organisation, and the volunteer team here at Cornerstone were a brilliant support along the way.”

 

Lanre’s Volunteering Story

 

"Before volunteering I was a student at RGU, I heard about Cornerstone through the intranet and learned more from my thesis project supervisor Susan Moult, who is on the Cornerstone Board of Directors.

I undertook an office based placement doing filing, inventory, updating the database of clients, preparing visitors packs, and working as a customer service assistant at Gift Corner in Stonehaven, one of Cornerstone’s social enterprise ventures. I was then offered the role of receptionist on a short term contract.

This experience has improved my IT skills, time management and organisational abilities and by dealing with both external and internal customers I have developed my communication and interpersonal skills.  

Volunteering has given my C.V. an added advantage, and the mentoring process with Alison the Volunteer Manager was invaluable, as I gained feedback on my role and looked at ways to develop personally and professionally in the workplace.
On a personal level I have found working for a charity rewarding and fulfilling and I feel it has made me more optimistic and made me more willing to give new things a try. Volunteering has improved my belief in my own ability and I would recommend it to everyone.”

 

Joanna’s Volunteering Story

 

“I began volunteering with Cornerstone in the summer of 2009, admittedly I wanted to get into volunteering for quite selfish reasons. Being a third year student at the University of Strathclyde and about to enter my honours year, I knew I needed something more than a degree and work experience on my CV to get noticed in the volatile work market.

Looking at various charities I decided to contact Cornerstone as I liked the fact they were a relatively small charity and very much community focused. Taking on the role of befriending was quite a daunting decision. Being naturally shy and inclined to stick within my own comfort zones, I felt quite apprehensive about spending time with people that I would not normally interact with on a day to day basis. However I can truly say my decision to volunteer took me down a different path.

After graduating with a joint Politics and Geography degree my post university life has left any thought of private sector work behind. The sense of pride and satisfaction that I got from volunteering meant that for me, the only kind of job that would bring fulfilment was to be sought after in the Third Sector.

I am now working within a charity fundraising department and working there I have a sense of worth and satisfaction every day.

It was through volunteering that I realised there was more to a job than a wage packet at the end of the month- it could also be about helping those in need and being there for someone who may have very little in their life. What started as a decision to aid my own career has now changed my attitudes, given me confidence and taken my life in a different direction. Volunteering is inspiring, from the people you meet to the opportunities it opens to you, and I know it has helped me to become the person I am today.”

 

*Mary’s volunteering story

 

*Name changed for privacy

"I have been a Cornerstone volunteer for over four years, and can honestly say it is a real privilege to be entrusted to help with Sarah’s* care. She and I have been friends for a long time, before volunteering I was her day centre key worker for fifteen years. It seemed very natural that, when I retired I would continue to have an involvement in her life, and Cornerstone's volunteer service allowed me to do that.

Cornerstone provides the structure, through support meetings and training, (which I thoroughly enjoy), to ensure safeguarding for Sarah and accountability in me.

Over the years our friendship has grown, and Sarah invited me to attend her annual and six-monthly reviews. This is a real indication of Sarah’s staff’s confidence in my role as her volunteer and demonstrates the trust which Sarah places in me. It is a privilege, but also a huge responsibility which I do take very seriously.

My volunteering placement brings many benefits to all involved, I can be a support to Sarah’s house staff and I can see Sarah continuing to gain confidence in herself and in the people she meets.

It’s a meaningful experience for me that I can be a regular friendly companion for Sarah, to involve her in activities in the community, such as supporting her involvement in her local church. Through this she is developing friendships, taking part in activities which are personal to her as an individual, and giving her independence as she does not have to depend upon her house staff.

I can confidently recommend the role of a Cornerstone volunteer, as it is a very worthwhile and life-giving experience for me. I am totally committed, and would hope to remain in this role for a long time." 

 
       

 

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