We asked volunteers and sessional workers what they thought about us and how we could be better
Here are some of their answers:
I had not been in work for a few years and was suffering from fybromyalgia, arthritis and depression, when I applied for some training at One Voice. I became an advocate and was very nervous to start with, but they supported me. I learnt a lot, and was never put in situations out of my depth. They really understand how your disability affects you and they made it possible for me to come back after I was ill for a few months. Sometimes I’m amazed at the things I can do now, and how confident I am with clients social workers, solicitors and the like. I am an advocate now, and know things. Because of One Voice I now work in a part time job for a school as well.
I had trouble getting work so I gave advocacy a go. It helped me to manage financially and stay in work.I am no longer an advocate. I run a landscaping business.
I was wild and disorganised when I first used the advocacy service. The advocacy helped me sort out my problem. Now I volunteer at One Voice. I also do sessions as an advocate, which has given me a lot of confidence. I have been given a lot of good feedback from One Voice, as well as mentoring. I started a college course in September
One Voice gave me a purpose to go forward after not working for such a long time. They taught me that there are people in a worse position than myself, who I can help just by the fact that I had a different view on life.
I know more about the welfare system, housing, debt, and supporting others, which I am very happy to do.
I was a student learning sign language at University when I encountered One Voice. I have asperger’s syndrome, so it was great to find an employer that understood the effects of autism. I learnt a lot as an advocate, and I am passionate about the positive effect of advocacy. I moved back to Nottingham after my degree and I am now setting up a charity there to provide an advocacy service for people with autism.
I worked in transport before One Voice. I was unable to work any more because of my mobility and health problems. One Voice got me out of the house. I made 2 close friends who I go out with regularly. On one of our holidays together I met the man I married. That wouldn’t have happened if i didn’t start with One Voice.
I trained with One Voice to be an advocate in the first year of the advocacy service. It was something I really enjoyed, and it gave me confidence. I worked with them for a couple of years, now I am a teaching assistant.
I am happy to volunteer for One Voice because it gets me out of the house and makes me feel useful. Even though I cant hold down a full job, helping One Voice in the office I know I’m doing something worthwhile.
I have volunteered for other organisations before but it hasn’t worked out well, because I am profoundly deaf and have mental health problems, and sometimes get very depressed. My psychiatrist suggested I volunteer at One Voice. I started volunteering there for 2 hours a week, but I soon started doing 2 days a week, because I found a friendly place where I had interests in common with staff and volunteers at the office. I even became their volunteer treasurer! I met a lot of new people. But more important, One Voice made me feel more confident being around people, I even got myself a hearing dog, and became heavily involved in their charity. I have fond memories of my time at One Voice. I spend more time in the world as a result.
I wasn’t confident that I could be an advocate after my training, because I have a lot of self-doubt. In the beginning the staff pointed out all the ways in which I had advocated for my children in my family life. They came with me on my first few advocacy sessions, until I was ready to break out on my own. I have worked as an advocate for over 2 years, and still call the staff if I am not sure, but I have gained so much self-belief doing this that I did an access course, and I am now on a full-time degree at University.
I met One Voice at an Access to Business event when I was on a 0 hours contract for unskilled work. i trained to be an advocate, and enjoyed helping people to improve their lives. One Voice were very understanding when I had to take 6 months off to look after my father. I work full time now in a job I enjoy. One Voice helped me to get where I am now.
Most of the time I am not able to leave my house because I am in so much pain. On my better days I volunteer at One Voice or go to their events. They always make it fun!