Behind the scenes – adult casework & men’s group with volunteer Thomas

This blog is written by Thomas who is one of our amazing volunteers at SLRA!

I have now been volunteering at the SLRA for a little over a month and continue to be greeted by new tasks, new faces and new energy each week!

Although, I volunteer as part of the adult advice team, I have undertaken a range of different projects. For example, I recently submitted a funding application on behalf of a particularly vulnerable client who had no money but was in need of a phone due to her condition. I have also liaised with local dry cleaners to organise the donation of winter clothes. After several calls, I soon found myself picking up a number of bags overflowing with coats and hauling them back to the SLRA. After this somewhat unexpected workout, it was fantastic to see the coats being put to good use when clients were able to take one home the very same day!

With the adult advice team, I have observed several meetings with clients in which we discussed their cases and next available steps. Over the past week or so, I have begun to conduct some of these meetings myself, taking a lead on triaging new clients. In the meantime, I continue to assist other advisors in collating the necessary information to build existing client’s case.

Finally, I round off my day’s volunteering by taking part in Men’s group. This is an afternoon session for male clients of different backgrounds and levels of English to spend time together, laugh, discuss and share experiences. We start by eating lunch before moving over to the Garden Room and completing a different main activity each week. These have ranged from pumpkin carving to knitting hats which, to my surprise, has been my favourite activity thus far! It has been great getting to know everyone and I am very much enjoying my Tuesdays at the SLRA.

We really appreciate all our fantastic volunteers. It’s amazing to see how much joy and motivation each of them brings to the tasks they are taking on or the session they join. Everyone of them, is an essential part of our big SLRA team and we’re really grateful! If you’re interested in volunteering with us, find more information here!