Have a read at volunteer Alana's story;

  1. What interested you about volunteering with Brain Injury Matters?

In 2012, I experienced a neurotoxic reaction through a medication and have to leave university.  Thankfully I have made a good recovery but through this experiences I have learnt how isolating an illness can be, especially a brain injury as many of the symptoms are not visible to others.  As a result of this, I really wanted to volunteer to help others who were in a similar situation to me.

   2. What's a typical day like?

I volunteer with the Tuesday wellbeing group (times are from 11am to 3pm).  This involves setting up the activities, having conversations with the service users and sharing experiences with them.  I also encourage service users to participate in the activities and assist the Arts and Wellbeing Officer in the facilitation of the arts/drama and educational workshops and sessions. I help service users with their lunch (cutting up food/making tea/coffee etc).  For service users who have limited mobility I would help them with their art projects (painting for them/cutting things etc.) and push their wheelchairs/help them on and off seats etc.  Every day can be different depending on the projects the group are doing, so sometimes they could be doing a horticulture project or learning how to cook.

   3. What skills have you learnt?

Through my role I have developed skills such as being flexible, creative, patient, having an encouraging attitude and being a good communicator.

   4. As a Brain Injury Matters volunteer you must see people with a variety of physical and cognitive effects - what's the most challenging aspect of the role?

It can be challenging seeing service users frustrated at times by their injury and the loss accompanying it.

   5. What do you most enjoy about volunteering?

Brain Injury Matters is a great place where people with different brain injuries and from a variety of backgrounds can meet together to have fun, learn new skills, develop lasting friendships and share experiences.  I love getting to know the service users and seeing them enjoy themselves and grow in confidence.

   6. Do you feel volunteering will help with future job opportunities?

I hope to become an Occupational Therapist.  Through volunteering with Brain Injury Matters I have gained experience of working with people with brain injuries and have observed how the wellbeing programme can improve their quality of life.  I believe this will assist me in my future career choices.

   7. How did you go about volunteering with Brain Injury Matters?

I read about the volunteering position on Brain Injury Matters website, as I had a keen interest in brain injuries and had found the website on Google.  I phoned to ask more information and was emailed an application form which I completed and returned.  I then had an informal interview followed by an induction and brain injury awareness training and then began my volunteer role within a few weeks.  It was a very easy process.

   8. What would you say to someone who's considering volunteering with Brain Injury Matters?

Volunteering is a great way to help improve the quality of life of people with brain injuries, to meet new people and learn new skills.  Brain Injury Matters is a great cause and I would encourage anyone who wants to help those affected by a brain injury to get involved.

If this story has inspired you to volunteer with Brain Injury Matters, please get in touch with with a member of the team by phone on 02890705125 or email [email protected]