Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Ruth I work for a large pharmaceutical company and live with my husband and two cats in East Yorkshire. I’m a keen endurance triathlete and enjoy swimming, cycling, and running. I’m currently training for my second Ironman distance triathlon. I’m also a level 1 triathlon coach at our local tri club.
How long have you been volunteering for?
I’ve been volunteering since December 2014 so 7.5 years. I can’t believe it!
What prompted you to start volunteering?
I came across an advert for volunteers and the Independent Visitors role really appealed to me because it was volunteering on a 1:1 basis with a young person. The time commitment was suitable, and it sounded like a very rewarding way to spend my time, and could really see the benefits for the young person.
What does your volunteering role entail?
I visit my young person every couple of weeks. We’ve done all sorts of fun activities over the years. Now they are older, we tend to go to a café for a drink and chat for a couple of hours.
Why do you enjoy volunteering?
My young person at primary school is now sitting their GCSEs. It’s been a real honour to be part of their life for so long, especially as it’s their own choice to be part of the project. To see them face personal challenges over the years but develop into the young adult he is now has been a real privilege.
I also really look forward to our visits and spending quality time together. No matter what is going on in my own life I come away with a smile and feel uplifted.
What difference do you think your volunteering makes?
It’s still nice to know my young person looks forward to my visit and says he enjoys our time and chats together. My young person knows I’m there because I care and support them, and they have given me the privilege of being a part of their life because they enjoy it and I have their trust.
Please share a little success story
I remember a few years ago my young person and I went to a climbing centre, and they were really scared of heights and addiment they were not going to climb to the very top. With my knees also knocking we had both climbed to the very top by the end of the hour. We helped each other conquer our fears.
My young person person recently told me how they are using physical exercise to cope with exam stress. We had a lovely chat about the benefits of exercise which is a passion we share.