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Volunteering at Healthwatch Southend: Trudi's thoughts

We rely on a number of volunteers to help us make a difference to health and social care services in Southend. Trudi gives an overview of how volunteering has helped her personally, and in turn, helped others.

Restoring Confidence Being diagnosed with a debilitating health condition a few years ago, I lost confidence in myself. I took voluntary redundancy as I could not cope with the hours and the physical work any longer. Our NHS services have been amazing with all the help and support they have provided and I wanted to give something back. I took lots of courses to improve my computer skills and wanted to use these to help others in some way. I started volunteering in various organisations which gave me a great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment. I began volunteering as an administrator for Healthwatch Southend in June 2019. The work is interesting and varied. I enjoy being in a role where I can contribute to the work involved, providing people advice or support they need with local health and social care services.

What have I been doing? Recently I helped to prepare the combined Long Term Plan report to go out as a mailshot. These were posted to local residential care homes in the Southend Borough. (I didn’t realise there were so many in Southend!) I updated a local NHS distribution list and uploaded information onto our database system. In the summer, I helped promote our services at a family fun day event which increased my volunteer role to include engagement; it was really enjoyable chatting to people about what we do.

Volunteering at Healthwatch Southend has made me feel valued and increased my self-confidence. The people I work with are friendly, welcoming and very supportive.

Healthwatch has definitely helped me

Volunteering here has helped me to improve my employment prospects. I've gained vital administration experience and my self-esteem has increased. I've secured a paid part-time role in a local company as an administrator, and am fortunate as I still have enough time to continue volunteering with Healthwatch Southend!

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