What our volunteers think
My volunteering motivation:
I want to amplify my communities voices and help make public services better. — Salma Healthwatch Volunteer
Soundbite: Nayab tells us why she volunteers at Healthwatch Kirklees
I have enjoyed outreach sessions, educating people on their options on how to access different services and help they require — Healthwatch Volunteer
Soundbite: Salma’s volunteering experience
I have developed my communication skills, and mindfulness when attending the outreach sessions. It has also helped with my confidence as I have to engage with service users in conversations — Adnan
Soundbite: Emma’s volunteering story
Volunteering makes me feel like I am making an impact on the services provided and I feel like a valued member of society — Healthwatch Volunteer
Volunteers representing Healthwatch:
Lisa volunteers with Healthwatch Kirklees as an Enter & View Volunteer and a Community Representative Trustee.
How did you find out about volunteering?
I’ve been volunteering for Healthwatch Kirklees for about 7 years now.
I was working in a team supporting community-based groups at the time and came across an advert on social media. As soon as I saw what the role involved, I was really interested and knew I wanted to apply.
What type of activities do you usually do as a volunteer?
My original role is an Enter and View volunteer – a small team of volunteers and staff members visit a specific location which is connected to publicly funded health and/or social care e.g. care homes; opticians; dentists; hospitals etc. During the visit we have a look around the public areas of the establishment; get a feel for the place using a ‘5 senses’ test and then speak with service users, staff and carers/visitors to find out their views of the service (the good and the not so good). We then produce a summary report from the visit with our findings including the good practice and act as a critical friend by identifying ways to improve the service which the organisation takes forward.
There are also lots of other things I can get involved with when I have time including outreach engagement; proofreading reports; testing surveys; online research etc.
What do you like about your volunteer role?
Unfortunately, my availability to volunteer has reduced over the last couple of years, but the role is so flexible and supportive that I’m able to get involved when I have the capacity. This has enabled me to keep my volunteering role and ‘dip in and out’ as I can.
The support offered to volunteers is absolutely fantastic. Katherine, our volunteer coordinator is lovely and a real ‘people person’. She goes the extra mile to support volunteers to learn, develop, get involved and get the most out of the role, but equally continually reassures people how flexible the role is so they don’t feel pressured.
I’m also really passionate about people having a voice about their health and social care experiences and the role really allows me to feel I’ve supported someone to do that.
How has volunteering made a difference to you?
After volunteering for a number of years, I am also now a Community Representative Trustee for the Healthwatch Kirklees and Calderdale Board. This has increased my knowledge at the strategic level of a wide range of issues and also enhanced my problem-solving and decision-making skills through a different lens.
I’ve met some fantastic people as part of volunteering including other volunteers, staff and Board members at Healthwatch and other organisations and the general public who we engage with.
I am also continuously learning something new or refreshing my knowledge (sometimes without even realising it)!