To celebrate Volunteers Week we thought you’d like to find out what volunteering with SNAP Cymru is like, so we asked our volunteers in Mid Wales to open up and share why it can be life-changing and a great learning experience.
Telling our volunteers stories is a great way for us to recognise and thank them for all the fantastic things they’ve been doing.
We have volunteers all over Wales, across a range of ages, and at different stages in life; those who are still working, some who have retired and students wanting to gain experience in the workplace. Many have first-hand experience of disability or experience from advocating for their own child.
Whatever your skills, if you’re not yet a volunteer, but would like to get involved there are roles for all as you’ll see from our volunteers stories
David is a super organiser who supports our admin processes and file reviews. David is training to be a counsellor and hopes to put his excellent communication skills to good use.
David says that;
“The river of life is rarely a tranquil meandering creature for those who have children with additional needs, the water is often turbulent and churned by hidden hazards lurking below the surface. We were in danger of drowning as we plunged down the rapids of the statementing process with our first child.
We needed someone with us who had navigated these waters before, SNAP was our life raft through this time. It often felt like white water rafting, though without the thrill but all the fear, with SNAPs support we were able to keep our heads above water and get the provision our son needed.
It was the feeling of someone “being there” for us which was so valuable, and it is this feeling of “being there” for others which I most value in my volunteering with SNAP.”
Diane works in the Llandrindod office. Christina our family and Young Peoples officer says that “DI is her right hand woman!”
Diana has a background in health and has worked in Switzerland as well as the UK. She has also lived in France and speaks French and Italian, and is learning to speak Welsh.
Diana says she “finds volunteering very rewarding. It makes me feel useful and keeps my brain active. I enjoy speaking with a variety of people and helping them through difficult times. I have also found many friends through volunteering – I would highly recommend it”
James has been a volunteer in the Llandrindod Office for several years and is a dab hand at scanning, managing petty cash, laminating and general office duties. James is profoundly deaf but lip reads well. When not volunteering for SNAP James is a talented artist.
Gwyn has been a volunteer since 2014 and is indispensable! He does general things about the office like changing light bulbs, fixing shelves, laying carpet and transporting things in the van, (when it isn’t broken down!).
When not Volunteering Gwyn has just returned to work with Dyfed-Powys Police following a shoulder replacement operation.
Lizzie is currently stuck in South Africa because of their very strict lockdown! She was in the middle of a round the world adventure with her oldest son Zachary, who has complex ALN. Lizzie is an expert in elective home education. She home schooled all 3 of her children and works closely with Fiona Nicholson, (EdYourself website). She generously shares her expertise to support other parents and the SNAP team.
Adrian has been a retail volunteer for some time. He was originally from London and is an expert guitar player. He and his wife Gill are very much involved in the music scene in Llandrindod. Adrian enjoys the time he spends in the shop, he likes chatting to people and keeping the shop looking interesting. Adrian says;
“It is lovely to work for SNAP and to be involved in sales after retiring from a lifetime in that vein. Encouraging people to leave their unwanted clutter with us just so we can raise a little to help someone in need, it doesn’t take much to see where the incentive is.
We don’t always get it right, but we try and have fun trying. Everybody from the same old faces, doughty farmers from the local Welsh hills and the relaxed tourists flood into the shop hoping to find a useful item or something to take back home that will remind them of Wales.
Having fun while doing something worthwhile is what it’s all about, with a really friendly bunch of people.”
SNAP Supported Jackie through difficult times with one of her children and she was keen to use her own experiences to help other parents.
Jackie says “I found my caseworker to be understanding and approachable, with really useful information and empathy, these attributes are something I felt I also possessed and wanted to give back to those in similar situations. It made sense to volunteer for SNAP. This past year has been really interesting; I’ve met people who clearly are looking for the right direction to take in order to achieve the help they require and the support their child needs. This is something I have really enjoyed doing, giving me fulfilment in knowing I have helped someone in need.”
Sue and Sally-Anne Gammon
Sue came to our Llandrindod shop as a customer and was recruited to work in the shop! We’re delighted that Sue and her daughter Sally-Anne have come in to volunteer regularly ever since. Sally-Anne has ALN and both wanted to give their time to help other children and families. Sue is very kind hearted, she is an extremely hardworking and conscientious volunteer and when not volunteering- loves her dogs!
Volunteers are a major asset to SNAP Cymru
By contributing time, energy and talent, all our volunteers across Wales provide new skills and complement the work of our team. We would not manage the high demand for our services without the support of our amazing volunteers. We are extremely proud of them and can’t thank them enough for all their hard work.
Whatever their Volunteering role their ‘Gift of Time’ is helping toward making a difference to children, young people and families across Wales.
Something for everyone
Everyone’s reason for volunteering is unique, from meeting people to learning new skills and making a difference. Our volunteers come from all backgrounds and we have a range of roles to suit everyone.