Sharon Sridhara joined us as a volunteer during an exceptionally difficult time of the pandemic. Here, she writes about her experience of working as a volunteer with us.
“During the pandemic, I felt I wanted to help out and get involved with my community in some way. I have always wanted to volunteer for Healthwatch, and this felt like the perfect time. I also wanted to develop more skills, as a university student, being able to volunteer on the side is a great way to learn and develop new skills that complement your studies.
When I was a volunteer, I was tasked with calling up residents who had received food packages as they were shielding and vulnerable and have a chat to check in and see if they were doing ok. I also had another task to phone local GPs in the area and gather information on how they were informing the residents to access their services, and then analyse the findings. (mystery patient work).
Volunteering helped me gained confidence in speaking on the telephone, and I also felt I was able to speak to people I would not necessarily have been able to connect with, especially during the pandemic. I had some really enriching conversations and built a connection with a couple of the vulnerable residents I had to speak with.
Volunteering also helped in my career development as it was an interesting talking point in my next job interview. In terms of personal development, it also gave me the drive to seek out further volunteering opportunities once I moved back home. I am a current volunteer at my local vaccination centre now. I will 100% recommend volunteering to others.”