My Volunteering Journey – Glen Brazier
Since volunteering for Croydon Vision my life has taken on a whole new dynamic. I’ve enhanced on the skill set I already possess whilst acquiring new skills and abilities I never thought I had. Volunteering is fun, exciting and rewarding, it’s an opportunity for me to give back to the community in which I live whilst simultaneously allowing me to make new acquaintances and friends.
On Saturday 7th March 2020, I had the privilege of participating in a sponsored swim at Purely Swimming Pool in aid of Croydon Vision. It was a fantastic experience and something I would never have gotten involved with had I not been a volunteer. Further, the comradery amongst the staff, volunteers and members is very special and mutually respectful.
I’ve also had the opportunity to join in with various other groups within Croydon Vision, I’m a member of the Working age group where we actively seek employment opportunities, update CV’s and learn about different interviewing techniques etc. As a volunteer I help compile the monthly newsletter, research articles and interview members for the talking news. I have also participated in mystery shopping exercise which yielded a positive outcome, such as Debenhams taking on board many of the suggestion we put forward to make the store more accessible for people with sight loss.
On 06th March 2020, I had the privilege of attending CV’s Strategic Planning Workshop, which I found very informative, and awe-inspiring. During the workshop the team was tasked with (among other things) reviewing CV’s logo and strapline to ensure that it accurately reflected the everchanging needs of the service CV provides to its members. Whilst reading through the brief I noticed there were recurring words that were sprinkled among the many pages of the draft strategic plan, words such as “support’’, “enable” and “empower”, all of which I believe are very powerful verbs and in my view accurately personifies the work ethos of CV. I was acutely aware that to use these three words in the strapline would be difficult therefore, I suggested we only used the first letter of each word, an acronym (SEE). Thu rapline would serve a double purpose, SEE giving its normal meaning “sight” and also its latent meaning “Support”, “Enable” and “Empower”. It was a team effort and a lot of compromise was needed by all team members however, the finished article demonstrates the intestinal fortitude of the staff team and there commitment in delivering a holistic service that is relevant to their members.
Volunteering can help you to improve your social and practical skills and a great way to meet new people and develop friendships. I feel so honoured to have been selected as a volunteer for CV and I shall endeavour to support the staff team of CV and serve its members (in whatever capacity) to the best of my abilities.