To celebrate Good News Shared’s 1st birthday we are looking back at some of the stories from our first year. Here we are looking at some of the volunteering stories featured on the Good News Shared website over the last year.
1. Will change your life
Volunteering abroad with animals has changed Karen Daly’s life. A volunteer with Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) Karen went to Bolivia initially planning to stay for a month – she ended up staying for six. She has gone back, and keeps going back to CIWY, and in total she has been volunteering with the charity for 8 years now!
Karen shares her experiences of volunteering abroad with animals, her favourite memory (it involves a Puma), the challenges of volunteering abroad, and some recent good news from CIWY in this interview.
2. Led to meeting – and speaking in front of – Samantha Cameron
Megan Simpkins is a volunteer for Dimbleby Cancer Care and a cancer survivor. When she joined Dimbleby Cancer Care as a volunteer she never imagined she would be giving a talk at Downing Street.
In this interview Megan shares her journey, and tells us all about the day she spoke at 10 Downing Street, including how she almost ended up in hospital!
3. Isn’t supposed to be fun, is it?
I helped out at a local event on a cold, dark and rainy Sunday afternoon.. and had a great time – it might have something to do with the fact that I met Jonathan Ross and Barbara Windsor (pictured above). Read about it here.
4. Can lead to love
Two Mercy Ships volunteers – Vanessa and Seth – got engaged in February after falling in love whilst volunteering with Mercy Ships, the international hospital ship charity. Vanessa said, “Although the ship may not be the easiest place to date someone, the Africa Mercy is a magical place to fall in love.”
Read their romantic tale here.
5. Doesn’t need to be selfless, it can help you too
Conor McGlacken won the Student Volunteer of the Year Award for his work with Engineers Without Borders Bristol University branch. The Engineering Design student said, “If you want to make your cause your career, it’s not going to happen by accident. You need to invest time and find funding to get trained properly.”
Read more about Conor and the award he won here.
6. Can be a family tradition
Roger Hailwood, a volunteer for the National Memorial Arboretum, says volunteering is ‘in my DNA’. Listen to Roger’s interview here.
7. Can move a nation
A team of 8,000 volunteers planted poppies at the Tower of London for the art installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, marking one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War. It was visited by more than 5 million people, and helped to make the Tower of London the most popular London attraction in 2014.
One of the volunteers – Lisa Pattenden – shared her experience with us in this post.
8. Has no age limit
106 year old Betty Lowe has been a girl guide since 1919, when she was 11. She has also been a volunteer at a hospital with the Royal Voluntary Service for the last 40 years. David Cameron awarded Betty a Point of Light award, which recognises those who make an exceptional difference to their community.
Find out more about Betty here.
9. Saves lives
“Canine Partners, quite simply, saved my life”, says Jacqui (pictured above with dog Bentley) who has been volunteering for the charity since 2013. She struggles with mental illness, and credits becoming a puppy parent with, in her words, saving her life.
10. Helps People Access Affordable Housing
Dot Dot Dot, a social enterprise based in Tower Hamlets, London, allows people who do great volunteering to live cheaply in buildings that would otherwise be empty. Last year, Dot Dot Dot’s guardians did almost 20,000 hours of volunteering for a huge range of charitable causes.