Find out about Victor’s experience of volunteering, what he enjoys most, and the skills he’s gained so far.
How did you get involved with RNID?
I have been volunteering for almost a year now.
I started volunteering because my hearing loss and tinnitus have impacted all spheres of my life significantly. I have experienced discrimination, isolation, and unkindness. I therefore know what it is like to need support and to feel the awful frustration of not being understood. I want to give that support to any person who may need it.
I also want to empathise with those in need and who may be frustrated. Put another way, I want to give something back.
What do you do in your volunteer role and what does a typical volunteering session involve?
My volunteering role involves informing people about the work of RNID and attempting to show people how RNID can positively benefit them if they are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus.
A typical volunteering session involves speaking to people about RNID and its work or presenting this information to a group of people.
In both scenarios I ensure that I have made contact with the venue host, set up my stall, and that I talk to as many people as I can. I then do a presentation, using my laptop, following the RNID format, which is enormously helpful.
My hearing loss has always made presenting a challenge for me. Now that I am a volunteer, however, and actually presenting about the subject of hearing loss, I feel a new sense of confidence and meaning when communicating with people. This is very rewarding.
What do you enjoy about volunteering?
I love all aspects of volunteering but the area which gives me the most sense of achievement is when I feel that I have helped someone positively by providing information that they may not have known.
I am further motivated when the information I have given a person is clear and that they are able to act upon it. It is also immensely rewarding to alleviate a concern that someone might have had.
What skills have you gained since volunteering?
I believe that confidence is a skill that has grown since I started volunteering. I am 67 years old and I believe that we all develop throughout life, without reaching any upper limit where development stops.
I have also improved my skills with using Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Prior to volunteering my use of Teams and Zoom was sporadic and quite limited.
I also feel that being retired gives a person the scope to share skills they have acquired. RNID has provided me with further energy for such scope, and I am grateful for this opportunity.
Tell us about a highlight you’ve experienced while volunteering here
When people visited my table after my presentation to say how interesting and useful they found the experience. I was taken aback and surprised by this. I was able to refer these people to relevant areas of the RNID website – in particular, the hearing check – which provided them with something tangible to follow through on. I was exhilarated by this experience.
What would you say to somebody who’s considering applying to volunteer with RNID?
I would encourage anyone who is considering volunteering with RNID to embrace the opportunity with all the energy that they have.
Throughout the application and induction processes, I felt supported and mentored by sound managers and robust procedures. This meant that I had a solid practical period of time to carefully consider the commitment I was making.
I am glad that I made the decision to apply and that I was successful.
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