Volunteering can lead onto a whole new career

Carla Hamilton decided to do some volunteering and through that time learnt what she really enjoyed and realised that this could be a career opportunity for her. Carla started volunteering with Cedar last year and has now been successful in pursuing a post with Cedar in our Short Breaks Service in the Northern Health & Social Care Trust, we are so proud of her.

Carla started volunteering with Cedar in August 2019, working with the Short Breaks team in Northern Trust. Her role was to work with the staff team to support children and young people to access this service and get involved in arts and crafts, seasonal activities and to get out and about in the local community.

Her experience of volunteering with Cedar made Carla realise that this is the type of work she would like to do. Volunteering with Cedar built up Carla’s experience and confidence to apply for paid positions with Cedar.

“Volunteering with Cedar made me realise that this is an organisation I would love to work for. There is an inclusive environment in Cedar that makes you feel very welcome”, Carla commented.

Carla was a relatively new volunteer when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, which meant that her volunteering with Short Breaks was put on hold. Carla was keen to find ways to continue to offer her time, skills and expertise. A volunteering opportunity was identified in the Inclusion Works service which enabled Carla to utilise her unique experience to support a participant with their college coursework via remote learning.

The participant, Trevor, stated:

“Carla’s support was brilliant. With not being able to get to a classroom over lockdown, it was great to meet Carla on Zoom. It was a regular meeting and something I looked forward to every week. Carla is very nice to chat to and we always had little conversations to take a break from the work. I got great support because it was a one to one and she was very understanding and always tried to explain things in a way I would understand. Carla really helped me through my Level 1 Essential Skills and my tutor was amazed at how much I have improved!”

We wish Carla every success in her new post and we are delighted that she is continuing to work with Cedar as a valued volunteer.

To learn more about Volunteering at Cedar go to https://www.cedar-foundation.org/explore-volunteer-opportunities