Alan volunteers with our IT team, running two drop-in sessions where people can come in with any IT issues or learn about new programmes or devices.
How long have you been volunteering?
I’ve been volunteering for over six years. Before I retired, I’d been working 80-hour weeks running my own employment law consultancy, and wasn’t ready to take things easy! I wanted to find some interesting volunteering opportunities to use my skills.
What does the role involve?
I initially volunteered as a tutor on a 10 week course, but then I heard that Age UK Camden needed someone to run the primarily LGBT drop-in sessions on Thursdays, and as a gay man it seemed a natural choice for me. That was six years ago, and I now run all of the drop-in sessions (every Monday to Thursday). I also help out with the administration for one of the social groups and with the organisation’s databases.
A few helpful hints and a bit of patience can make the difference between someone giving up on IT for good or sticking with it and being able to access services online and keep in touch with friends and family.
Are there any challenges?
Occasionally you get a tricky client, but it can usually be sorted out pretty easily. The vast majority of people you help are nice and very appreciative of what you’re doing. Someone came in with an email issue the other day - a bit complicated, but when I took the time to explain it to him, and he understood, his face lit up! He really appreciated it.
What’s your favourite thing about volunteering?
The trick with volunteering is to find something that you really enjoy, enthusiasm is catching! But everyone’s cheerful and helpful here. Age UK Camden look after their volunteers and work hard to make sure they are happy.