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What do you do when not volunteering for Simon Community?

When I am not volunteering you will find me either in the gym, training myself or working as a personal trainer. When not in the gym it's likely I will be playing football for my club, drinking coffee in a local café, walking in nature, or spending time with my family and friends.

What lead you to volunteering for the charity?

I was inspired by my mummy to take part in the One Big Sleep Out, at Stormont, a few years ago. Off the back of the event I educated myself about homelessness in Northern Ireland and from then onwards I wanted to try and help support those in need in any way that I could. That same year I spent Christmas Day with clients in Armagh and then the role of the Move On Coach popped up. I really wanted to be a part of the project.

Describe your volunteer role and the work you do?

I'm currently a Move On Coach. At the moment I am working closely with one client who is in rented accommodation. We meet up weekly and are in contact on a regular basis. I provide a safe space for her share her feelings and chat. To enjoy some time away from her accommodation, and I can feedback any relevant information to the clients key worker.

What’s been the best and most challenging aspects of volunteering to date?

The best part has been developing a connection with the client and her enjoying the time we spend together. The most challenging aspect is just finding times to meet up which suit the both of us, which hasn't really been that difficult to be honest.

Why is volunteering important to you?

I am fortunate to have a very supportive family and to have been well looked after all my life. I recognise that other people are not as fortunate as me and I wanted to be of some help and support to those in need.

What difference do you think volunteering makes to the lives of Simon Community’s clients?

On a personal level, I know that a Move On Coach can have an impact in terms of providing some companionship for the client. I think this is vitally important for someone transitioning from living in a hostel to living on their own. On a more general level, volunteers can bring so much to the lives of Simon Community clients from a practical aspect of helping with their daily needs to a more fun and creative level in terms of developing and sustaining past times and hobbies. This can have such a profound effect on both their overall health & wellbeing.

What advice would you give to anyone considering volunteering with the charity?

Simon Community has been fantastic to work alongside. All the staff I have met are friendly, approachable and passionate about the role they play in Simon Community, very inspiring people. They make such a difference to clients lives on a daily basis. If you are considering volunteering, don’t wait another second, it's so, so worthwhile, very uplifting and fulfilling.

We're recruiting for Move on Coaches across NI. Click here to Apply Now.