Case Studies

A great success story!

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Sonia Timlett

Sonia suffered a stroke in 2009 and also lost her job in marketing in the same week.  Although not fully recovered, after 9 months of rehabilitation she decided that she would like to volunteer as a step do developing her confidence and  language skills, which had suffered from the stroke.

Sonia started volunteering at Volunteer Centre Lambeth in March 2010 and has gone on to volunteer for a brilliant 185 hours!  She was inducted on to the Elevate   project and has helped out with general administration and has also done some fantastic work in compiling and evaluating feedback.

In September 2010 Sonia was offered and accepted a 1 day a week paid position at The Stroke Association as a Volunteer Coordinator.  She has continued to volunteer for ½ day per week at the volunteer centre and was recently offered a further 2 ½ days with her current employers in the role of Stroke Survivor Navigator.  Sonia also assists with research at the City University into Aphasia, a communication disability developed from damage to the brain.

Volunteer Centre Lambeth spoke to Sonia about how she felt volunteering had helped her in his successful search for employment:

Why did you start volunteering?

I needed to develop new skills and get my English language skills back on track.  I had been out of a work environment for quite a while and I really needed to build up my confidence through interaction with others.

 What interested you about volunteering at Volunteer Centre Lambeth?

I wanted to volunteer locally and found out about the Volunteer Centre.  There weren’t any other roles that I was interested in and after meeting with Sarah Yandell, a member of staff, I knew that volunteering here would be ideal for me.  Sarah made me feel confident that I had skills that could be useful to the centre and so I applied.

 How do you think the experience of volunteering and the extra support provided through the Elevate project helped you in your search for employment?

As well as developing my language skills through regular interaction with others, I have also been able to refresh my computer skills and learn how to use a new database, which I then trained other volunteers on. My new paid role involves volunteer management, so to be able to have volunteered at a Volunteer Centre has been really beneficial.  I have been able to get ‘on the job’ experience of what is involved in dealing with volunteers, though watching and listening and also asking questions. I received great support from members of staff and other volunteers which really added to my confidence to find employment.

How did you keep yourself motivated through your period of unemployment?

 My dreams always keep me motivated.  Through volunteering I gained the confidence to achieve these dreams.

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