Vanessa’s story

Vanessa’s story

I am a 25 year old, single mum to a 6 year old daughter. I am currently working with Project Scotland / Volunteering Matters, I love my job and company so much.

I am a 25 year old, single mum to a 6 year old daughter. I am currently working with Project Scotland / Volunteering Matters, I love my job and company so much.

A typical day for me work wise would be to start in the mornings for 45 minutes to give me time to answer emails, update my young people if we are meeting or not, have a look at out TEAMS chat for any updates for the day. After that I take my daughter to school then I would get back to work on the laptop or I would head to town to meet any young people I have a meetings with.

My journey started when I was a young person on the YPG (Young Persons Guarantee) I started volunteering at a charity called SHIP, where I would go spend the day with kids aged 5 – 16 with all kinds of disabilities, we would paint, play board games, do baking & cooking, sports outdoors and so much more. I was volunteering with them from August 2021 till December 2021. I was then offered a 9-month contract at Volunteering Matters as part of the UK Year of Service programme, which I also loved doing.  I have learned so much from this and I am still learning. I was then blessed with another contract until March 2023 with Volunteering Matters, working on the YPG project in Perth & Kinross and supporting with another project in Dundee.  I have a lot more responsibility now,  and a bigger case load of young people for me to support.

The opportunities I have had from this project are being able to figure out what path I wanted to go down. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to work with disabled children or adults before my volunteering, now I know it is children I would like better.

One of the main things I enjoyed was learning a new routine and understanding that I could make time for volunteering and work whilst being a single mum. I also enjoyed seeing myself come out my shell again, seeing me become my own person and not just a mum.

When I first started I had no clue what to expect, but once I had my first meeting I was able to see that after all this I would be able to get a job and a job that I would enjoy.

I have learned how to communicate with people via email, call and teams. I have learned better time management and I have also learned how to handle my workload better. I have completed my 100 hour saltire award for my volunteering.

The support I had by Clare was amazing, without her I would still be sat at home wasting my days away, she has helped me find my voice, and discover things I enjoy – she has helped me get out the mindset of living on benefits being all there is for me.

A main skill I have developed has been how to be more compassionate towards children and people with disabilities and I will take that skill forward by treating everyone I come across with care and to always be careful of the words I use

When I first started my volunteering, it was the summer holidays, so my daughter was at home all day, the way I overcame this was just doing 1 or 2 days a week while I had help from family to babysit, then when she started school, I put her into afterschool club. Next for me is to continue with my current job, continue learning by listening and learning from my mistakes.

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