By Temi Oguntolu, student volunteer on our Department of Health volunteering project.
Volunteering with The Trust for Developing Communities (TDC) was a positive experience for me, it was here that I understood how to juggle different roles and ensure that I did my best. There were many times I thought I had to drop it due to University and work commitments, but I was able to do my best and meet the targets assigned to me. I began volunteering for TDC in February 2019 and I really enjoyed meeting and working with fellow volunteers on a range of health and wellbeing projects for the members of the BME communities from across Brighton and Hove.
I have always wanted to volunteer but I never did it until now. Doing this allowed me to put myself out of my comfort zone and speak to new people, something I would not have done before starting volunteering at TDC.
I enjoyed this project because of the flexibility as it allowed me to balance academic, work and social commitments. Doing this, I have found out more about myself, such as what I am capable of, things I am passionate about and the different ways to help people.
Volunteering at TDC has improved my knowledge and understanding of health and wellbeing. The amount of support and opportunities available in Brighton and Hove for people to take ownership of, and improve their health and wellbeing is amazing, which I would not have realised without volunteering at TDC.
This experience has improved my confidence and skills because I am much more willing to try new things to develop my career whilst helping others. In this role, I learnt how to empower others, learnt about networking and how to convince people on the importance being an active member of the community, for the benefit of their community.
In this role, I undertook various tasks which included:
- Advertised the events at university and in the community
- Planned my own event on improving health and wellbeing
- Learned how to plan, deliver and evaluate projects
- Collected DATA and feedback in order to write my own report
- Improved my communications, both face-to-face as well as through email
- Worked as a team to create poster, which we then disseminated through a variety of ways to reach as many different people as possible
Working with TDC has made me understand the amount of work put into improving the lives of residents of Brighton and Hove. TDC’s effort in making the community a better place and giving people a voice encourages them to have more autonomy over their lives because they can see the support readily available to them. Although I am not originally from Brighton, volunteering here has encouraged me to stay on in Brighton and build a life here because of the support I have seen that people get and the organisations making that happen.