Name: Donna McConnell
Organisation: Childline Foyle
When did you start volunteering?
I started my training in June 2011and began my shifts as a volunteer in July of the same year.
What are your duties / tasks?
As a Childline Counsellor, I interact with children and young people who contact us through the telephone helpline and online service. I also mentor new counsellors following their initial training and would at times assist with skills practice during the counselling training.
What have you gained from volunteering?
Firstly, the ability, skills and knowledge of how to guide and support those children and young people who have sought our help. Also, how to effectively work as part of a team of very dedicated volunteers; who give freely of their time to support our children and young people.
What will you take away with you from volunteering?
It is not so much what I take away with me; as this is not about me, it is the hope that I have helped some of our younger generation at a time when they felt they had no-one they could turn to, no –one who would take the time to listen and support them make the decisions and/or changes in their lives, for a better, safer future. P.S. I have no plans to go anyway just yet; Childline Foyle, you are stuck with me for a long time I hope!
Do you have any advice for people considering volunteering?
Don’t just sit there and think about it, if you feel so strongly about a cause, then get in touch with them and find out about how you could become involved. Even an hour of your time, can make such a difference!