Volunteer Week: Celebration & Opportunity
In celebration of National Volunteer Week, we have teamed up to give you an insight into our volunteer roles and the incredible work that they support. We also have several brilliant opportunities that you can get involved with!
Swan, our Volunteer Coordinator, comments that “volunteers are involved in all areas of our charity: From supporting our communities directly to helping us run the organisation behind the scenes; we simply couldn’t do it without them! We have opportunities for volunteers living in Shropshire, but also for those working remotely from anywhere in the UK or internationally, both for over and under 18 year-olds.”
Deafness & Hearing Loss
Our Deaf Social Activities are a great way to reduce social isolation for the British Sign Language (BSL) users who live in Shropshire. Project Officer Anna shares that “All of the volunteers who support our community groups have signing skills, being able to communicate using BSL means everyone attending has a truly inclusive experience. Without the support of our valuable volunteers this would not be possible.”
One of our regular volunteers explains “I have been volunteering with Signal for the last 2 years. I enjoy meeting and chatting with people, and it also increases my confidence in using British Sign Language. Volunteering gives me the chance to give something back and develops my own skills and experience. I am looking forward to being able to volunteer again this Summer.
Anna also notes that signing skills are not always necessary to volunteer with us: “Along with our activities, we provide a Hearing Screening programme, without our volunteers this would not be as successful as it is.” Our volunteers don’t need to have experience of hearing loss, we look for people who are warm and welcoming to join our volunteer team.
An estimated 30% of the population will experience tinnitus in their lifetime, that’s around 1 in 8 people. Here at Signal, we aim to ensure that everyone has access to advice and support to help manage the condition. Our volunteers are essential in helping us provide excellent 1:1 support, as well as using their lived experience to strengthen the peer-to-peer advice given during our support groups.
Lucy, our Project Officer for Tinnitus shares that “tinnitus can have a devastating effect on a person’s life. In the early days, it can be very hard to know how to cope. But with the help of an amazing team of volunteers we are able to offer regular support to over 100 people in Shropshire and beyond, supporting them in reaching a point where their tinnitus is manageable.”
When it comes to our international work, our volunteers are vital in enabling us to have such a large reach and impact. We have volunteers based in the UK as well as internationally, in the countries where our projects take place. In the UK, our current volunteers are helping us with funding research and applications. Internationally, our volunteers carry out a range of activities; including visiting schools to identify pupils with disabilities, offering practical support to the parents and families of deaf children, and working in communities to make sure the schools there are inclusive for everyone. Many of our volunteers are Deaf or hard of hearing themselves and are motivated to become volunteers to act as role models and mentors for others with disabilities.
We have some exciting opportunities that you can get involved with. These include:
Social Media Assistant
One-to-one Tinnitus Supporter
Tinnitus Support Group Leader
Tinnitus Support Group Assistant
Volunteering brings huge value to organisations like Signal. It's also a great way to boost your own wellbeing. Whatever your reasons - giving time to your community, sharing your expertise, or developing a new skillset – here at Signal we take pride in making sure that our volunteers get as much out of their experience with us as we benefit from their work.