Bob, 65, is a veteran and a volunteer buddy with Step Together. He talked to us about his experience and what he enjoys most in his role.
How did you become involved in Step Together?
I was diagnosed with PTSD six years ago and I didn’t know what to do. I was introduced to Elaine from Step Together and she suggested I try Polo. Initially I was scared of horses but I overcame this and I now have weekly lessons and I ended up helping in the stables, which was very satisfying. Elaine suggested I try some other volunteering opportunities and a chance came up to train to be a buddy to other veterans. After this I felt confident enough to take on my first buddy.
What types of things do you do in your volunteering role with Step Together?
I support my buddy to volunteer until they have the confidence to go it alone. This could be making phone calls to set up a volunteering placement or going along with them to the interview or their first day.
What’s the best thing about volunteering?
Volunteering gives me the confidence that I can help others to get to where I am now. I’m able to show my buddy that you can move forward.
How do you think volunteering has benefited you?
Volunteering has given me a whole new outlook on life. It’s proven to me that I still have a lot to give to society and I’m not on the scrapheap. It has helped me get out of the house and feel useful again.
Any tips for other people looking to volunteer?
Don’t feel that you can’t do it. Give volunteering a try and I am sure you won’t regret it.