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Thirty hours a week volunteering pays off for Sheffield man

Added on: 13th July, 2015 by sara_23298

Thirty hours a week volunteering pays off for Sheffield man

Last Updated:
Mon, 13 July 2015

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Volunteering paid off for a Sheffield man when he found full time employment within the charity he was giving up his time for.

Volunteering paid off for a Sheffield man when he found full time employment within the charity he was giving up his time for.

Former warehouseman John Hobson volunteered up to 30 hours a week for Sheffield Carer Respite after observing the variable standard of care a family member received in another setting.

After seven months of volunteering with adults with disabilities and dementia, a paid position became available. John, who has two young children with special needs, applied and was delighted to gain a full time, permanent position as a support worker.

“’I’ve always been fascinated by history," he said "so I especially love spending time with older people who have so many amazing stories to tell.

"I feel like I’m helping to keep their past alive. No two days are the same, and within an hour of meeting someone you could know the whole history of their life. It’s a real privilege".

Thirty-seven-year-old John is now earning more as a social care support worker than he did in his warehousing days. He is able to keep more sociable hours, which is good news for his wife, the main carer of their boys.

“My days start at 9am and are always tailored around what’s best for my clients and their carers," he said.

"I spend at least three hours with every client and I’m very proud to work for a service that does this. When you’re in and out in 10 minutes you don’t notice little things. If you build relationships and spend proper time with people you notice when things aren’t right and are in a much better place to be able to help.”

Louise Jolly, volunteer coordinator for the adult social care charity Making Space, which runs the respite service, said: "We support over 250 carers all over the Sheffield area, enabling them to have a much needed break from their care responsibilities and giving them the chance to do jobs they cannot normally get done.

"We are always looking for volunteers and offer a very thorough induction training. For most opportunities, our volunteers don't need any prior experience, but they should be able to demonstrate good communication skills, patience, a non-judgemental attitude and an awareness of some of the issues facing vulnerable adults."

“Since I started working for Making Space 18 months ago, I've seen six volunteers gain employment within the charity. It is always sad for me when I lose a volunteer, but obviously it is great to see their experience as a volunteer pay off."

As a volunteer, John took every shift available and quickly clocked up over 200 hours. “My goal was to have as much experience as possible so I could apply for permanent positions,” he said.

“For me it was vital to do that volunteering. Employers need to see that you can do the work, but you also need to be able to prove to yourself that you can handle it.

“You’ll quickly find out if the job’s for you or not. I was fully prepared for the difficult aspects of the job; I see that as character building. But for every one difficult client you have, there are a thousand that make you smile.”

For more information about volunteering with Making Space contact Louise Jolly on 01142 769 306 or

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