Volunteers' Week - Meet Ricki, HealthUnlocked Moderator
How long have you been volunteering with Endometriosis UK?
Since March 2018.
What were your motivations for volunteering as a HealthUnlocked Moderator?
I was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis in 2010 and during this time, I was a member of the forum in its old format. Reading about other people’s experiences gave me the strength and courage to get through my own and as a result, I always thought to myself that I would support the charity in the future, by becoming a volunteer on the forum. It’s taken me a good few years but in 2018, it finally happened!
Why did you choose Endometriosis UK as a charity to volunteer with?
Endometriosis UK is mainly a volunteer-led charity so I felt like it was even more worthwhile to support them in educating and promoting awareness for the condition. I had never heard of endometriosis before I started researching on the internet before my diagnosis - it’s so important that people have the correct information and Endometriosis UK is a great source.
What is the most rewarding part of your role?
I’m just grateful that we are able to help someone in even the smallest way, even if its a couple of words of support or directing them to services and information which they had no idea about previously. Also seeing the members of the forum interact with each other from all over the world and provide so much support towards each other, even though they have never met, is great.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
In this role you have to act as a “policeman” and ensure people follow the forum’s code of conduct. This is sometimes difficult as you don’t want to restrict the flow of dialogue too much or limit the support people are getting but there are also rules to follow so you need to make sure there is a good balance. Also it can be upsetting at times when you see others going through a really hard time.
Sum up your volunteering experience in three words.
Humbling, rewarding and positive.
Is there any guidance you would give to someone who is considering volunteering as a HealthUnlocked Moderator?
Just go for it - we have an amazing team who are always encouraging and supportive. Being a HealthUnlocked Moderator opens your eyes up to so much about others and you also learn a lot about yourself.
Tell us about something you enjoy doing in your personal time.
I keep my brain and body active by dancing and playing ukulele!