To mark Volunteers' Week, we would like to introduce you to some of our volunteers across the organisation. We are extremely fortunate to have almost 100 volunteers. Our volunteers are the core of our organisation. Without them, we wouldn't exist and we would like to say a big THANK YOU to each and every one of our volunteers.
Meet Louise, one of our eleven Helpline Volunteers.
How long have you been volunteering with Endometriosis UK?
Nearly four years.
What were your motivations for volunteering as a Helpline volunteer?
Being able to help others who are struggling with endometriosis and helping to progress information sharing amongst everyone about the condition. In my own experience I'd had little support, and wanted to be there for others. I felt that I was in a place in my own endometriosis journey that I could manage it.
Why did you choose Endometriosis UK as a charity to volunteer with?
As a fellow sufferer it is a subject very close to my heart, and I know how it feels to feel isolated and lost and to not know where to turn for answers. Endometriosis UK is a small charity and I wanted to be able to further their work wherever possible.
What is the most rewarding part of your role?
When people say that they feel better after talking things through, it is so rewarding. Being able to help people, even if it is just a little bit.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
When women feel at the end of their tether. Perhaps with every avenue you try to help them, they feel they've already exhausted. It's very hard to hear people in such distress. It can also be difficult as we rarely get any feedback from women as to what happened next for them.
Sum up your volunteering experience in three words.
Challenging, rewarding, empowering.
What guidance would you give to someone who is considering volunteering as a Helpline volunteer?
That women just need a listening ear, they are not expecting you to have all the answers - they just want someone to understand. Make sure you are in a place where you are prepared to hear all aspects of a woman's endo journey, and then just be kind - to the caller and to yourself. It is a great thing to be able to help someone.
Tell us about something you enjoy doing in your personal time.
I love reading as much as I can, and am in a community choir which is great fun!