Date published: 11 March 2020 by Maddie Thomas
Tell us a bit about yourself – interests and hobbies, other work or volunteering
My name is Sharon and I am a mother of two grown up children and have three grandchildren. My hobbies include travelling, theatre trips and doing crafts. I’m an outgoing person and enjoy socialising with my friends.
How did you first hear about Rainbow Trust and why did you decide to volunteer?
I recently lost my husband and there has been a massive void in my life. I then came across this charity while visiting Slimming World in the same building. I bumped into an old friend from years ago and she happened to be the Family Support Manager in Southampton for Rainbow Trust. She felt that I had too much time to sit and think and asked if I had ever thought about volunteering. It was a no brainer and I haven’t looked back.
What do you enjoy most about your volunteering?
I enjoy being part of a team again and it makes me feel valued and gives me back some worth in my life.
Can you describe a typical day volunteering and what it involves?
I arrive in the morning and make tea and coffee for whoever is in the office. I have my own drawer with any items to be scanned, so that’s where I start. I enter the time sheets and family hours on a spreadsheet. I source items we may need from local businesses, that could be toys, stationary or food for family events. I answer the phone if the manager is busy and take messages. I support the team with any printing or posting of letters and I make sure the cupboards are tidy and organised. I also help with lamination and filing.
Do you have a particularly distinctive memory from your volunteering so far?
I supported at the New Year party and it was the first time I was with the families. After losing my husband I know how precious life is but seeing it from a different angle, I cannot imagine how hard it must be for a parent to lose a child. I felt my few hours of time volunteering was well spent.
If you were to meet someone who was considering volunteering for Rainbow Trust what would you say to them?
Go for it - but you are not having my volunteering role!
With thousands of families caring for a seriously ill child in the UK who need us, we couldn’t do it without volunteers, like Sharon. Whether you can give a few hours, a day or two or want to become a lifelong volunteer, your time really does make all the difference. Interested in volunteering? Please visit our Volunteering page to learn more.