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What Difference Volunteers Make to Us?

What Difference Volunteers Make to Us?

Here at Turning Tides, we heavily rely on the generosity and skills of over 240 volunteers. Without this amazing team, we would not be able to deliver the valuable services we provide for those homeless and insecurely housed in Worthing, Littlehampton, Horsham and surrounding area!

The work our volunteers do affects all of us in the charity and enriches the community. The care and dedication to our clients displayed by them every day of the year, affects us all deeply. Many of our volunteers have been with us for a long time and have seen us grow and change into the service we are today. It is only as a result of their hard work that we have been able to progress. Working as a team, we have been encouraged to strive higher and achieve more, with their generosity and kindness.

The support of our volunteers allow our staff to be more efficient and productive. They are able to nurture our clients and assist in their progression and recovery. Luke Angel,Project Worker at the Short-Term Assessment Hostel, says, “At the hostel our volunteers are really valuable, helping to cook evening meals. The clients and staff appreciate having a meal provided for them, and it frees up staff time to support the clients”. George, a client at the Short-Term-Assessment tells us that one of the volunteers, Massimo who helps with the evening meals, has been helping him learn how to cook!

From talking to clients, it is clear that volunteers help their development in our services and are an import part of the life and friendships of our clients.

“During my stay at Byron House, I have found the staff and volunteers to be very caring and supportive. To take time out of their day to sometimes listen and offer support and help me find direction, which I appreciate greatly”

Many clients entering our services, especially those who have been rough sleeping, tell us they feel excluded from the community. Our volunteers help to reconnect them to their local community and assist in easing anxieties over social exclusion.

“It is truly heart-warming to be surrounded by so many kind and thoughtful individuals on a daily basis; we are so lucky to be supported by so many people.

It is wonderful having the community support from our volunteers; they play a huge role in helping us to deliver the services that we do, and welcoming our clients back into the local community. I also enjoy witnessing the journey that volunteering brings for some of our volunteers, showcasing the skills that they have and helping them to build confidence and meet new people”

Alison Nicholson – Volunteer & Enterprise co-ordinator

Many of our volunteers are also clients or ex-clients of our services. Volunteering provides an opportunity for our clients to give back to the service, but also to build confidence and a chance to improve skills. One of our Client/Volunteers, Neil, helped gather quotes from staff, clients and volunteers for Volunteer Week, he helps every week at the fundraising office and is an asset to the team. He said, “Volunteering gave me the opportunity to meet more people, and to feel part of society again. It has been so nice to help out and put the things I have learned to good use and give a little bit back. It offers a chance for anyone to learn new skills and be part of a good cause”. Not only does Neil volunteer for Turning Tides, but also helps with the IT junction! It is wonderful to see someone putting so much time and care into helping others and contributing to the community.

 “Volunteering provides great opportunities for clients, such as cooking, charity shop work, helping at the warehouse and services. This helps build their confidence and social care skills, and is great for they feel able and ready for employment”

Peter Thomas – Project Worker at the Short-Term Assessment Hostel

Volunteers not only help within our services, but play a vital role in raising funds for the charity. Across our three charity shops, we have a small army of dedicated volunteers helping staff. Further, many help behind the scenes in our warehouse, sorting donations and driving the delivery van. Volunteers are also a vital part of the work of the fundraising team, helping at events, creating crafts for us to sell and leading on fundraising in their own community as part of  our Friends Groups.

 “We are so grateful for the help volunteers provide at fundraising events, not only logistically, but the enthusiasm and joy they bring to our events and team

Amy Oboussier – Social media community fundraiser.

This week is all about celebrating volunteers, thanking them and acknowledging their contributions to our work. The difference they make to all aspects of our work is invaluable; their work, skills and support impact us all, so from all the staff and clients at Turning Tides we would like to thank you! THANK YOU!