George who originally joined FitzRoy as a volunteer and now works as one of our Support Workers, tells how volunteering transformed his thinking about people with learning disabilities.
Having originally travelled to Manchester from my home in Oxfordshire to study music, my circumstances changed in my third year of study. I found myself relatively directionless and in need of a fresh start.
Volunteering had always been a distant concept for me. I was motivated most in my life by pushing myself further and achieving goals for personal gain. But a friend invited me to volunteer once a week at a cafÃ© in Manchester and I got the bug. I soon became a regular volunteer for FitzRoy Trafford Day and Community Service as well.
What I find wonderful about volunteering whatever it is that you volunteer to do is knowing that you are there to contribute to your cause by choice. Spending some time each week pouring energy into others is such a valuable thing to do from their point of view, but also hugely enhances your own well-being. I ended up getting out of it far more than I was putting in and slowly but surely I couldn’t keep away!
FitzRoy is a fantastic organisation that provides support for a wonderfully inspiring and diverse group of people. A group who, up until recently, I wouldn’t have been involved with. We just didn’t exist in the same circles. I am so happy to have been given the opportunity to get to know them and build meaningful relationships during my time at FitzRoy. I have benefited so much by my time spent with people with a totally different world view to my own and we have a huge amount to learn from one another.
Anybody with or without a learning disability deserves to live their life as they wish to live it. Helping them to do so is the most rewarding job in the world.