To celebrate, we heard from SYP employees who have shared their own volunteering experiences with us.
Research Officer, Wendy Bungay, volunteers for various organisations including the Scouts, St John’s Ambulance, East Midlands Ambulance Service, Air Training Corps (ATC) and more. Here, she tells us all about the wonderful work she does…
“I have been volunteering for quite a few years now, and I have been heavily involved in the scouts for over 30 years where I am a Cub Scout Leader. Last year, the Group Scout Leader who looked after the whole unit sadly passed away, and asked me to take over the role in Dronfield and all of the units within it. I also help out with the Beavers. I absolutely love doing it, and although at times it can be hard work, I really enjoy being with the kids.
“I’ve also volunteered with St John’s Ambulance for the past 12 years. In this role, I’ve done a lot of events such as the Chesterfield matches for play offs, concerts etc, and we carry out training locally.
“As well as this, I’ve also been a Community First Responder with East Midlands Ambulance Service for around 14/15 years. In this role, I have regular meetings and training, and I have to take yearly requalification exams in first aid, medicines, medical gases and defib in order to continue to respond to medical emergencies. Once the paramedics attend, I can step into the background and assist at the scene, working as a team with the ambulance. We get called out by the ops room and can get called out for almost anything, from falls to cardiac arrests, and this can also be further afield too.
“Alongside this, I’m a Sunday School teacher, and I’ve also helped to fundraise for children in Nepal for medical support - all of the money raised by the charity goes towards hearing aids, dental treatments and hospital appointments as there is no NHS over there, and all medical assessments have to be paid for. The first time I went out to Nepal was in 2010 where I was part of the medical team overseeing dental and eyesight problems, and I recently went back to teach first aid to the teachers.
“I also started a youth group in 2019, which is from year four upwards. We now have 35 children there, and we also have a waiting list now. On the first Friday of every month, we run a clothes bank for children where we also have toys and books, provide free tea and coffee and we also take donations. We get really good attendance at these events, particularly in Dronfield and since the covid pandemic.
“As well as this, I have also recently volunteered as a Civilian Instructor for the Air Training Corps (ATC) or RAF Cadets. I was asked if I wanted to join and teach, which I was happy to do so, and I am involved with training as well as the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, which is great fun.
“I decided to volunteer as when I joined the police, I felt the need to serve and make things better. I absolutely love my job, so I knew that I would enjoy volunteering. I also really like the quote around ‘leaving the world a better place than when you found it’, and I believe through volunteering you’re able to do things that need to be done and that will help others. I’ve also dragged my husband and my family into volunteering, so they will often join in and help out, and they love it! While ever I’m still capable of volunteering, I’ll continue to do it as I just really enjoy being there for people and making things better.
“I get so much out of volunteering – I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t. You’re always busy when you volunteer, as there’s always something to do. I’m lucky enough to work with a fantastic team of other leaders, and they’ve also become my friends and my support group. If I get stressed or I’m too busy, they will always offer to help out, and vice versa, so that’s really good. I’ve got a busy month coming up in July, as I’ve got two camps – one with the ATC where we’ll be doing mountain biking, sailing, climbing and loads more, and one with the cubs where we’ll be doing archery, canoeing and more, so I’ll be fairly busy!
“For someone who has never volunteered before, the biggest step is that first step of deciding you want to do it, as it can feel quite daunting when you imagine it as you’re essentially stepping into the unknown. However, most volunteers are so happy to have more people join them and will welcome new people with open arms. You can have a good laugh volunteering, as it’s just so much fun. Volunteering is a part of me now, so if you’re interested I would say just get out there and do it. Everybody wins when it comes to volunteering!”
We are currently recruiting for special constables, who are volunteers who have the same powers as regular officers. You can find out more information and apply here.