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Volunteer profile: Clare Vaughan
By Clare Vaughan - 15 May 2018
Volunteer Clare Vaughan shares her experience of volunteering with Depaul UK in the North East.
"I joined Depaul North East in September 2014 through the Newcastle University volunteer program, SCAN. Having previously done research with homeless women in Newcastle, youth homelessness was an issue I felt strongly about – and wanted to help alleviate – particularly given the increasing pressure on local services and charities in the wake of austerity.
"After being contacted by the charity to set up an initial meeting, the various volunteer roles were explained to me and I decided, along with the help of a staff member, that my skills and interests were best suited to the role of ‘Workshop Leader’. Following this meeting, I was then offered a variety of training sessions in order to prepare me for my role, covering issues like safeguarding, communication skills and working with young people. These were a fantastic opportunity to enhance my skills, meet other volunteers and improve my confidence prior to starting my volunteering role.
"I then began leading workshops on employability with around 2-8 young people attending per week. These sessions were a great way to get to know the young people and offer some practical advice and guidance on re-entering the job market, undertaking education, and generally improving their confidence and communication skills. After working on this program for 16 months, an opportunity arose to diversify the Get Up & Go program and offer some alternative workshops. I now run a weekly debate workshop where young people can discuss issues that matter to them, in a safe and lively discussion. One of my highlights has been taking a group of young people to London to discuss their experiences at the Homeless Youth Parliament.
"I have recently undertaken a supervisory volunteer role alongside the workshop lead, and am looking forward to developing my role further. Volunteering with Depaul UK has been beneficial to me both personally and professionally, and I have met a broad range of brilliant people from all walks of life, all of whom are fully committed to ending homelessness and easing the lives of the young people we work with. It is a privilege to be able to volunteer at Depaul, and I look forward to seeing where it takes me in the future!"
Volunteer Coordinator Amy Jobling says, “Clare has brought so much energy and enthusiasm to her volunteering role; she is greatly valued and last year won a local authority commendation award for volunteering at Depaul and has been nominated for further awards. Clare is very supportive of other volunteers within the team and is more than happy to implement new ideas. She also delivers fantastic sessions to the young people we work with here in the North East. Clare’s support is greatly appreciated by staff, fellow volunteers and young people.
“We have numerous volunteer roles at Depaul to suit every interest; all roles are fully supported by support sessions, peer support groups and training and development opportunities. Volunteering at Depaul really does make a difference to the lives of the young people we support as well supporting personal development for our volunteers.”
If you are interested in joining the volunteering team in the North East please contact Amy.Jobling@depaulcharity.org.uk for a volunteer application pack.