Volunteer for Us

Below you can read what some of our volunteers have to say, and watch a video about volunteering with KeyRing.

Click here for a list of current volunteer opportunities.

 

Arinola Adefila
Community Living Volunteer (CLV), Chelmsley Wood

A photo of Arinola Adefila

How long have you been with KeyRing?

I joined KeyRing at the beginning of 2006, so I have been a volunteer for almost 11 years.

What is your role and what does it involve?

I am a Community Living Volunteer. This means I provide support for KeyRing Members who wish to live independently in their own flats. It is a great privilege to support such a diverse range of individuals. I have learned so much from the Members and I have seen so many of them flourish and gain new skills and capabilities. Being a volunteer can be challenging – I sometimes have to support Members to Accident and Emergency at 2:00am – or I can talk and watch music videos with someone else all evening. It is basically about providing a friendly, supporting hand to an individual and mostly being open to receiving the same. Without giving and taking the interaction is devoid of human engagement. The "volunteer" role provides a unique opportunity to relate to an individual with learning needs in a way that is informal. Though the volunteer has the expertise to support Members, they do so as neighbours, discussing the issues and gossip of the local area when we go on social visits or during network meetings.

Has your role changed over time?

My role has changed significantly, mainly because I have supported a range of Members. Some Members have left KeyRing; armed with the skills to live without our support. Others have got married and moved out of the area and some have sadly passed away. Through all the ebbs and flows of life, volunteering has given me the opportunity to learn about the strength of the human spirit. By engaging with so many people, I learn about how we are so different and yet so similar!

What do you like about volunteering for KeyRing?

I like engaging with people, laughing, eating and playing together. I enjoy the richness the experience gives and sometimes I even appreciate the challenges of engaging in activities that I would not have decided to do on my own. I like the fact that I have learned about myself too.

 


Anthony Fletcher

Volunteer and CLV, Walsall

A photo of Anthony Fletcher

How long have you been with KeyRing?

I was a KeyRing Member from 2003-2009. When my network closed I became a volunteer, and then a Community Living Volunteer. 

This involved taking people out in the community, supporting them with their daily activities and running the hub every Friday. I did some shadowing before taking on the role.

Has your role changed over time?

I stopped being a CLV when I got a job – I am now working as a Healthcare Assistant and support worker but I still do some volunteering with KeyRing when I’m needed. I am planning to apply for a support worker role with KeyRing in Sandwell.

What do you like about volunteering for KeyRing?

KeyRing gave me support when I needed it. I like seeing people succeed and achieve their goals.

 

     


Clare Robinson
Community Living Volunteer, Chadderton

A photo of Claire Robinson

How long have you been with KeyRing?

I started my role as a CLV in November 2006 and I have to say there is a lot more to it than I originally thought but I still really enjoy my role in KeyRing almost ten years later.

What does your role involve?

I feel the CLV role is an important one as we not only spend time building up our relationships with Members which enables us to support them more effectively and recognise when things may not be going well but we also build up our skills and experience which enables us to know what to do in situations and how best to support Members with issues they face.

Although as CLVs we are not 'on call' I feel the flexibility of our role works well in that we don't only offer support Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm or for an hour on the same day each week.

Being a CLV is certainly a learning curve and no two days are the same! We work as a team and have backup not only from the support workers who manage us but also from the experience of other CLVs. Someone is always on the end of a phone if we need help or advice.

What do you like about volunteering for KeyRing?

I still enjoy supporting Members and helping them deal with everything life throws at you!