Volunteering gave me a new sense of pride and achievement as I could see the benefit I was having on the people that attended the groups.
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Shazia is one of our staff support volunteers for the Family Mentor Service. This service supports new and expecting parents with one-to-one support and through their various groups. The volunteers there support the running of the groups, help with admin tasks, and assist with the video sessions which began over the pandemic. Shazia began volunteering after coming to the UK from India.
“When I came over to the UK I had one child and was expecting another. I had left a full-time, high level job in India where I was doing a lot of work, but with my children I wasn’t able to work which left me a lot of free time that I wasn’t used to. I started to feel lonely, I had no family in Nottingham to visit and no work to keep me occupied.
Things began to turn around when a friend suggested I try volunteering, and pointed me towards Framework. She suggested that this could help me to get back into work and give me that human contact I wanted.
I talked to Sonja, one of the volunteer co-ordinators at the service, who talked me through what the service did and how I could volunteer. I had previously attended the groups they run and found them amazing so I was very keen.
Completing the volunteer training definitely eye opening; I met a variety of different people, all wanting to be volunteers for their own reasons, and got to learn a lot about how unique we all are. It began to give me a new outlook on life, and seeing more of the positives within it.
Volunteering from there on was amazing.Completing the volunteer training definitely eye opening; I met a variety of different people, all wanting to be volunteers for their own reasons, and got to learn a lot about how unique we all are. It began to give me a new outlook on life, and seeing more of the positives within it.. It also gave me some responsibilities with looking after the paperwork and the children, which I found rewarding.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began the groups ended, however I continued to help out, expanding my knowledge by learning how to make videos for the service, in turn this helped me build a better relationship with my daughter. I still continue making videos for YouTube now!
All the training, the experiences and the confidence I gained from volunteering with Framework helped me get back into full time employments where I am now. I do miss the groups but I am also enjoying my new job.
I wanted to thank Framework, especially Sonja from the Family Mentors, and Chidi from the Futures training, for everything they have provided me.”