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Northumberland CVA is a partner in Bridge Northumberland, which help people living in Northumberland who are out of work and aged 16+ to overcome barriers to training, education and work.  We deliver the Supported Volunteering element of Bridge, which supports people who have a range of additional support needs, to gain confidence, self-esteem and practical skills by undertaking volunteering with the help of a buddy so they eventually move into unsupported volunteering, training or employment.

Our Volunteer Buddies make a huge difference in the lives of Bridge beneficiaries, who would never have been able to take up a volunteering role in the first place without their support, and we say 'thank you' to all of our Buddies.

Two of our Volunteer Buddies, Lorraine and Maureen, are retired nurses and thoroughly enjoy using their existing skills to help people to gain confidence and move forward in their lives.  Here's what they say:

 

Lorraine's story:

“I started nursing in 1977 and qualified as a registered mental health nurse in 1980. I was hospital based and worked for 37 years within a team caring for acutely ill inpatients requiring a wide range of support for their mental health. It was very rewarding knowing I could make a difference to their lives.

“When I retired, I was keen to use my skills in a volunteering role and was supported by Northumberland CVA to become a Volunteer Buddy with Bridge Northumberland. I have now been volunteering for over 4 years and really enjoy it.

“I have supported several beneficiaries and I can see the positive impact volunteering has. My nursing background and experience has been very useful with volunteering and I feel privileged to be involved as a buddy seeing their confidence grow and fulfilling their goals.”

Lorraine

Volunteer Buddy, Northumberland CVA

 

Maureen's story:

“Hello just wanted to say that I am really enjoying my retirement, and choosing to be a Volunteer Buddy is my way of staying connected.

“I retired after 25 years as a Registered General Nurse and enjoyed the busy world of nursing. I really didn’t have time for hobbies due to family life and shift patterns, so I was looking forward to some me time. I realised very soon that I missed the people contact so looked to do some volunteering.

“The buddy volunteering scheme is a good fit for me as it enables me to offer some of the things that I really enjoyed doing in my role as a nurse. Everyone needs encouragement at some point, and I liked helping people from patients to student nurses to obtain their goals. I feel that it is important to be a good listener; this can help with recognising needs that some people may have, and to support them to enjoy their volunteering.

“I have been very chuffed to be a small part of a volunteer obtaining work following a volunteer placement but just to help and feel that I have made a difference however small is definitely a plus for me.”

Maureen

Volunteer Buddy, Northumberland CVA

 

Thank you again Lorraine and Maureen, and all our other volunteers, for all your hard work and dedication.