Our diverse communities are transformed by our generous volunteers. We chatted to Danielle about how she became a part of the Options volunteering team, what her experience is of being one of our volunteers and some of the great work that she carries out.

How did you first hear about Options for Supported Living?

I first heard about Options because a member of my family works for them and asked if I’d like to give volunteering a try. I experience social anxiety, so I really wanted to try to push myself out of my comfort zone and eventually go back to college. Joining Options as a volunteer seemed like a great chance to help me grow my confidence. I had the opportunity to help out with some events that were going ahead and I really enjoyed it.

How do you volunteer your time at Options?

I started volunteering my time in 2019, where I’d help the team out at events. I’d travel to the events and back independently, which was already helping me to step out of my comfort zone. At the events, I would support the team by taking photos, documenting the day and talking to people to get their feedback.

When lockdown hit in 2020, everything changed and the fundraising team had to adapt the way that they did things. Options started hosting Zoom meetings so that people could still join in on the activities they couldn’t do in person. After attending these events and helping out where I could, I started to volunteer my time by leading the meetings. My role was to host and facilitate the meetings. I’d get to work with people who were running the online activities and we’d host something different every day like art classes or even a ‘sing and sign’ choir, where people who are deaf or hard of hearing could sign vocally and also sign to recorded music. This helped me to be more confident and I got to try something that I’d
never done before.

After the pandemic, I carried on volunteering for Options, where I still work with the team to deliver events. I get involved with lots of different activities, such as quizzes, dance classes, exercise classes and some of their clubs.

What’s your favourite thing about being a volunteer?

My favourite thing about volunteering at Options is coming into the office and helping the team with upcoming events such as cooking classes and sports groups. I get to meet different people who are supported by Options and get involved in the diverse community.

What were you doing before becoming a volunteer?

Before I started volunteering at Options, I was volunteering in a hair salon, but I didn’t get any opportunities to progress. Taking on this role as a volunteer has allowed me to carry out work that is so rewarding and I always get to try new things.

What does being a volunteer at Options mean to you?

Working at Options as a volunteer has improved my confidence. Being able to socialise with the team at Options and the other organisations that Options works with has helped me to improve how I communicate. The team always helps to push me out of my comfort zone and achieve new things which has helped me to do things that I never thought I’d get to do. I feel valued in the team, I go along to social events and even won an award for my contributions as a volunteer at the Options 30th birthday party. Being a volunteer has been so rewarding and has also helped me to explore different career options and what I’d like to do more of in the future.

Would you recommend becoming a volunteer for Options?

I would definitely recommend joining Options as a volunteer. It gets you out in the community, making new friends and learning new skills.

How would you describe Options in 3 words?

I would describe options as friendly, supportive and hardworking.

Want to become a volunteer?

Becoming a volunteer at Options gives you many opportunities to develop your skills,
support a worthy cause and meet a diverse community of people. Find out how you can
join in our valuable work by getting in touch on recruitment@ofsl.org.uk