We’ve been celebrating our brilliant volunteers all week for Volunteers Week.

Here we chat to Harrison who volunteered for Healthwatch Medway.

I finished my degree in Public Policy and came home to Medway in 2020, but there weren’t any jobs around. I was spending eight hours a day applying for jobs and in the end you just end up applying for anything; it’s soul destroying.

So I changed tactics and decided to volunteer. Not only would it keep me busy, it would also help improve my chances of getting a paid job.

I saw an advert to become a desktop researcher for Healthwatch Medway. It suited my skills and interests, but crucially I could do it from home and it wouldn’t cost me anything in travel, so I applied.

Fast forward a few months and I was part of the Healthwatch team attending training and joining in discussions. I was part of the conversations at the Steering Group to give my views as a Medway resident about what Healthwatch should be focusing on. I’d met some great people and was learning a lot when a permanent job came up in the team.

I wouldn’t have got my paid job if I hadn’t been a volunteer.

Initially I got a part time role which found me busy talking to people and community groups about their experiences of health and social care in Medway. I’ve chatted to people in the streets, visited some brilliant community groups and taken part in local events. It’s been a whirlwind but I am loving it.  I’ve also started on another project which means I am full time; this one is helping people in Gillingham to understand how important their blood pressure is.

Try volunteering for yourself

Volunteering isn’t for everyone but for me it’s opened up new doors. My mate Matt also joined us as a volunteer and the experience has helped him get a job in a different company too.

It gave me a sense of accomplishment, and I’ve met a whole group of new people. Give it a go: it got me a job that I actually wanted after years of searching.

Interested in volunteering?

Becoming a volunteer is easy. Get in touch to find out about volunteering opportunities with us.

Find out more