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Testimonials from our Volunteers

Quote from Andrea, Creative Writing Group Volunteer

Photo of Andrea

“It always brightens my day when we chat each week. It’s great to keep in touch and hear each other’s voices. We have a good catch up on all the goss, and lots of belly laughs! Whatever you are worrying about just disappears when we are on the call. 

It’s inspired the group to start writing again, and now they are writing two or three pieces a week, and we’ve also gained two new members! We’ll need a longer conference call soon!”

(Quote in April 2021)

Quote from Sarah, Telefriends Volunteer

Photo of Sarah

"One of the things I have been doing during the pandemic is Tele Friend calls. I have a group of ladies, my Golden Girls, that I call regularly. They are all over 80, all live alone, all have sight loss, all been shielding and housebound. I have shared their highs and lows, we have laughed and cried, what I don't know about the 40s and 50s isn't worth knowing, some have told me their deepest secrets, their fears, everything really. All in the same call usually .Yesterday I thought right I will ring them all. I managed to talk to 2 of them, both were sat in their gardens full of positivity full of plans, a pure joy. The others were all OUT! Spent today calling all those and the difference in them was immense as they had all been out of the house with a loved one, because Boris said they could. All so much to tell me, where they had been. Some had gone to their children’s house, or just for a walk. Again, all full of plans and positivity for the future. I feel like a proud parent seeing them spread their wings! and so thankful they have all kept safe and free of this virus and very humble. I hope I get to meet them all soon, in person xxx" (Comment sent to us in April 2021)


Quotes from Volunteers pre-Covid.

Quote from Hilary, Cookery Group Volunteer:

Photo of a volunteer with a client in one of the cookery groups

"I help run a Cookery Group for partially sighted people who attend the Activity Centre. We now have nearly 20 people who take turns to come along to the specially equipped kitchen to bake cakes, scones and pastries. Every one of them recently made and iced a fantastic Christmas cakes. The clients thoroughly enjoy themselves, which is of course the object, but I was unaware just how much fun I would have!  It is genuinely enriching to spend time with these people, most of whom are elderly and who have all such stories to tell. We do more than bake. We tell stories, we laugh, we’ve been known to sing and occasionally cry. I have learnt so much and get so much out of the experience.  I thoroughly recommend giving a little of your time. The rewards are huge."

Quote from Carol, Tele-Contact Volunteer:

Photo of someone on the telephone

"Sometimes, when you come off the phone, you feel like you have made someone's day, just by calling them. Some people feel that their problem isn't big enough to bother people with, but when asked how they are during this regular contact, they open up. Also, this call makes people aware of products and services they may not know about"

Quote from Graham, Driving Volunteer:

Photo of s driving volunteer helping a client in to a car

"I was one of SRSB's minibus drivers before retiring, and this is when I decided to volunteer. I love interacting with people, and get enormous job satisfaction from volunteering. I know that this role makes a difference to people who may not be able to access the centre otherwise."

Quote from Mike, Group Volunteer:

Photo of volunteer singing and reading braille music

"I really enjoy volunteering in the SRSB Singers. Making a joyful noise is great therapy and we feel alive when we all sing together, it just cheers you up even if you feel down. The group sometimes go out to different places to perform and we have visited care homes, companies and events. We have different themes, such as songs from the shows and songs from the war years. I just wanted to do my bit for the centre and to help people, so this is the perfect role for me."

Quote from Sarah, Community Engagement Team Volunteer:

Photo of someone talking at an awareness presentation 

"I have talked to big groups of children who asked lovely questions such as how do I dream, talked to people in the workplace, and discussed with psychology students the emotional side of sight loss; the isolation and the feeling that there is no point to life. It's hard to believe I was in that dark place myself, it seems like a lifetime ago."

Quote from Mike, Support Group, and Community Volunteer:

Photo of Mike 

"I'm visually impaired with a condition named Charles Bonnet Syndrome, which means I see visions. At first I felt very low, then along came SRSB who taught me how to overcome my fears and to lead a useful life again. I now volunteer for both Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB) and Rotherham Sight & Sound (RSS) on their Mobile Information Unit with the Community Engagement Team, as well as co-facilitating the Charles Bonnet Group. 

"I recommend volunteering with SRSB and RSS as staff and volunteers work happily together, doing a worthwhile job in the community"

Quote from Anne, Self Help and Support Group Volunteer:

Photo of two people chatting in a support group

"I can honestly say that I get so much out of volunteering for the group. I love helping people and feel I was born to care. It is very satisfying to know that you are helping people to cope with their condition. I have made many friends and I am not just sat at home. We are up and out all over and I love organising things for the group."

Quote from Christine, Tele-Friend Volunteer:

Photo of someone on the telephone

"I've been a Tele-Friend for nearly 2 years now. I had previous experience of this in my work at other charities, and it is a vital service that goes a long way to combat isolation and loneliness for the client. It can be a way to build confidence too. I love talking to, and meeting new people. I find the role both humbling and incredibly rewarding. If you are able to build up a good rapport, you can end up with a close friendship, so this is a long term commitment. It's also a great deal of FUN! I've learned a lot from the people I call. If you enjoy talking, and above all, listening, please think about being a Tele-Friend."

Quote from Jodie, Reception Volunteer:

Photo of someone on the telephone

"I enjoy volunteering at SRSB, as all the staff are welcoming and provide a friendly, warm atmosphere. When volunteering on reception, I feel a sense of pride when helping people both on the phone and face-to-face."

Quote from Julie, Fundraising Events Volunteer:

Photo of a volunteer with a tray of food at an event

"It's great to know that all the funds we help to raise are used locally. We are privileged to see the pleasure, help and support that this gives directly to so many partially sighted people in and around Sheffield and Rotherham."

Quote from Amy, Office Volunteer:

Photo of Amy at SRSB

"I have been volunteering for SRSB for a while now. It has gone very quickly! I help to keep the Blindlife Blog up and running by collecting stories from people living with sight problems. I also write stories for the blog myself. 

Everybody here is very understanding, supportive, friendly and encouraging. I love every single time I come here. 

Before I started volunteering here I felt like I may never work again, because of my sight problems. All I have ever done is work with children so I have no other experience or qualifications. It is giving me more confidence with being in busy places. It has helped me accept my sight problems and feel comfortable with being open and honest about it. I have made some new friends. So many opportunities are open to me now, helping others with my writing and experience of sight loss, working with social media, I have been on the radio. Before I came here I felt I had no opportunities at all, now I have too many to choose from! I am loving trying a bit of everything. 

I wanted to volunteer here to help me improve my work and social skills. I had not worked in six years because of my sight loss and health. I thought this was the best place to start and I was right. It feels even better knowing that I am helping my favourite charity."

Quote from Graham, Collection Volunteer:

Photo of a volunteer at a store collection 

"The reason I volunteer is that I have seen at first hand, the fantastic services that SRSB offer to visually impaired people and I have also seen the benefit these people get from being cared for by the wonderful staff at SRSB. All the volunteers, staff and clients at SRSB are lovely, so if you can spare an occasional few hours please come and join us and do your bit to help SRSB and make new friends as well."

Quote from Elephant Tin Collector:

Photo of someone handing an elephant collection tin to someone else

"It is rewarding to know that the amount raised from collection tins from over the year is a significant contribution to the charity's fundraising." 

Quote from Steve, Fundraising Volunteer:

Photograph of Steve at the Yorkshire Half Marathon 

"I throughly enjoy supporting and helping SRSB in any way I can and during the past few years, I have run half marathons in my snazzy SRSB running vest, cycled on a static bike in reception and stood in most of the supermarkets in Sheffield with a bucket and a smile.

As a Sheffield resident I wanted to support a local charity helping local people, I know my efforts are not wasted and that the money that I raise in sponsorship or through collecting is used to help the partially slighted people of Sheffield.

I hope to continue to support SRSB for many years to come and if you are looking for a local Sheffield charity to support then join me and SRSB.

Quote from Viv, Tele-Contact Volunteer:

Photograph of Viv on the phone

"I really enjoy coming in to the centre – I find that I get out more now and see more people. It is very rewarding talking to the clients on the phone, as many of them live on their own and they are really grateful for your call and often thank you for thinking about them. Sometimes it is quite moving.I started doing the Tele-Contact in 2013 and really look forward to coming each week. I also feel that I am learning new things in an office environment."

Quote from Barbara, Fundraising and Awareness Volunteer:

Photograph of Barbara at a store collection 

“When I first came to SRSB as a client, I also learned about volunteering and fund raising and their importance to SRSB. An Eye Health Awareness week was my first experience of fundraising and approaching the public. I was paired with a very experienced SRSB volunteer Eric, and !earned much from him, and since then from other volunteers, and a!so from members of the public. Instances that come to mind are; appreciation of care at SRSB's Cairn Home by the son of a resident, teenagers looking through simulated sight condition glasses to get an idea of a grandparent's vision loss, and interest in practical household gadgets for people with vision loss, plus making the public aware of the extent of SRSB's work open to everyone with vision loss, not restricted to people registered blind.I was interested in the plans for a Mobile Information Unit and have started to volunteer there. I have been at several events to publicise the work of SRSB. Being a volunteer is both rewarding and enjoyable. I like the contact with other volunteers and feel supported and appreciated by SRSB'Fundraising and Community Engagement staff."

Quote from Margaret who volunteers at SRSB's Activity Centre:

Photo of two people chatting in the craft group

"When I took early retirement from teaching I decided to do voluntary work. I came to SRSB and I had never worked with visually impaired people before. I was very impressed to see how they coped with their sight loss. Everyone was welcoming and friendly. I take part in all sorts of activities. I called for bingo and did crafts. Since we came back to Mappin Street (following the refurbishment) and got a new Craft Room I teach crafts every week and try to keep everyone busy with new ideas."

Quote from  Volunteer:

Photo of volunteer and staff at SRSB chatting about a product

"I came to volunteer thinking that it would be like any other volunteering place, but I was wrong! The staff are amazing and supportive which gives you the happiness and joy to come back every week. The clients usually come to us in the Equipment Centre to see any new technologies that have been released to help people with vision difficulties. Some of them like to have a chat which helps give them some mental support. I believe that my role is quite important in here because every day we get to change a life and put a smile on our clients' faces."


Quote from Bill who volunteers at SRSB's 'Mappin Writers' Creative Writing Group:

Photograph of Bill 

“I first became involved with SRSB after helping a visually impaired person onto a bus which made me think that I would like to help some more. So I looked through the Yellow Pages and found SRSB, called them and arranged an interview. I had not heard of them before, but volunteering with SRSB has totally changed my life. My role began by working with the DeafBlind Group and after 6 years I started working with the Mappin Writers Group, which I have been doing for the past year and I have found them both challenging and exciting roles. I can’t believe that I have been volunteering at SRSB for over 7 years now! How time flies when you’re having fun! Because of my involvement at Mappin Street, I also started volunteering at Sheffield Mencap, which led me to employment as a Teaching Assistant, which I find equally rewarding - all thanks to everyone at SRSB!

Joining the team at the SRSB is one of the best things I've ever done - Thanks for having me.”

Quote from Andy, My Guide Visually Impaired Trainer Volunteer:

Photo of Andy

"I choose to give my time by volunteering, as I want to offer hands-on support to people to make a real difference. I volunteer for the My Guide Training, where we offer comprehnsive training to sighted guides and it is great to see the results that this project delivers. It is very much about 'independence' and nor 'dependence' and we help visually impaired people achieve goals that they have identified, for example, the staisfaction I got from knowing that somone had learnt to cook. It's part of the human condition to feel good about helping someone else."


Quote from Ron, Computer Support Volunteer:

SRSB and RSS logos

"I have performed many and varied voluntary jobs for SRSB and its previous incarnations, over very many years. But I can honestly say that the last 6 years as a voluntary community technician have given me the most joy. The smiles on people's faces when I have made their computer or other equipment work as it should, is very gratifying and most rewarding. I hope I am able to be involved in this work for many more years to come. I would encourage anyone with time to spare, to come and join the volunteers' team."

Quote from Dennis, Fundraising Event Volunteer:

SRSB and RSS logos

"We really enjoy working as volunteers, doing a wide variety of roles and jobs, from which we get the personal satisfaction of knowing that we are helping many visually impaired people. All the staff, volunteers and clients are a pleaseure to work with and are very appreciative of our contribution."

Quote from Lesley, Befriending Volunteer:

SRSB and RSS logos

"This role privides a great opportunity to build someone's skills and confidence. We always have a good laugh, get something done, and it is a positive experience all round."











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