Since last year, I’ve had the honour of being a volunteer trustee for Citizens Advice North Herts.
I had a promising career as a beauty therapist in London. However, my life took an unexpected turn when I was disabled by a massive stroke at the age of 26. This life-altering event led me to reevaluate my path and find new ways to contribute positively to society. I retrained as a counsellor, which not only helped me come to terms with my own emotions but also sparked a passion for understanding human dynamics. I understand the physical and mental struggles that come with disabilities and medical issues and value having the opportunity to give a voice to individuals facing similar challenges.
Becoming a volunteer with Citizens Advice North Herts was a natural choice for me as I’ve lived in Hitchin for most of my life. I wanted to be part of a charity that truly makes a difference in the lives of local people. I have gained a much greater insight into the challenges faced by individuals in my community.
My role as a volunteer trustee encompasses various responsibilities, ranging from actively participating in the board’s decision-making process at regular meetings to supporting the remarkable staff and volunteers at Citizens Advice North Herts with community and fundraising activities. I act as a liaison between the trustees and frontline staff. This involvement suits my abilities and accommodates the limitations imposed by my disability and fatigue.
This experience of volunteering with CANH has not only allowed me to gain valuable knowledge but also provides opportunities for me to pass on information about the services provided by Citizens Advice to the local community. Being a part of such a worthy charity is incredibly fulfilling, and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute.
To anyone contemplating becoming a trustee for a local charity or considering a volunteer role at Citizens Advice North Herts, I would say ‘do it’! It is a chance to make a genuine difference in people’s lives by offering support, information, and services that can guide them through their challenges and help change their circumstances.
Personally, serving as a trustee has had a profound impact on my self-confidence. I am particularly passionate about talking therapies and understanding how people tick. I have learned that my voice and opinions matter, and I am able to use this newfound confidence as a ‘lighthouse’ – pointing people in the right direction to obtain the guidance they need.
Outside of my volunteer work, I have various interests that have adapted since my disability, including fashion and colour. I also have wonderful friends and maintain an active social life.
Serving as a trustee has provided me with the opportunity to make a positive impact and help to give a voice to those facing difficulties. If you are passionate about making a difference and helping others, I encourage you to explore opportunities in the charitable sector. Together, we can create a more inclusive and supportive society.