Find out about Alan’s experience of volunteering, what he enjoys most, and the skills he’s gained so far.
How did you get involved with RNID?
I started volunteering in April 2023.
I volunteered at a mass COVID-19 Vaccination Centre in Colchester for 18 months, and one of my colleagues there recommended RNID to me. I always enjoy helping people and it seemed like a natural progression when the vaccination centre closed.
What do you do in your volunteer role and what does a typical volunteering session involve?
I started as a meet and greet volunteer, which involved welcoming people to a session. Then I became a hearing aid maintenance volunteer, which I have been training for now since November. I really enjoy the position.
A typical session for me is to arrive early and start setting out the room until my manager arrives and then we set up the display items, lay out the meet and greet position, and set up the maintenance position ready for the first person to arrive.
As I am still training, I work alongside my manager where we share the maintenance within my limits and she is able to check my work and advise as necessary.
What do you enjoy about volunteering and what skills have you learnt?
I enjoy meeting and helping a variety of people.
They say you never stop learning, but at 74 years of age, to learn a new skill in Hearing Aid Maintenance is brilliant.
Tell us about a highlight you’ve experienced while volunteering here
There are a number I could mention, but 2 spring to mind.
Firstly, working alongside my incredible manager Angie, and learning not only a new skill but how to support people with hearing difficulties. Not having hearing loss myself, it can be difficult to understand the problems until you see them first hand and watch a trained person.
Secondly, having someone come to us who thought they had gone deaf overnight, but we found there was a build-up of condensation in the hearing aid tubes which we could fix. Seeing the look of joy on that person’s face made my day.
What would you say to somebody who’s considering applying to volunteer with RNID?
If you enjoy meeting and helping people of all ages, then this is something you should seriously consider. It helps you understand the issues that people with hearing loss can face and you can learn new skills in a great team.
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