“When I first thought of volunteering, I was anxious about what to expect and of saying the wrong thing, but volunteering has taught me that I am capable of helping people and that I am more resilient than I thought.”
56-year-old library assistant Peter Grant has been volunteering with Jigsaw (South East) for two years. He is a member of the Grief Support team.
What inspired you to volunteer?
My parents died within a few months of each other and that was very hard for me. I wanted to try and help other people in the same situation.
What skills did you bring to the role?
In my day job I work a lot with children doing Baby Rhyme Time and Story Magic for children with learning difficulties. I’m part of the East Grinstead Libraries, Children and Families Team.
What skills have you learned?
I have become much better at listening.
What training have you had?
I completed the Jigsaw induction training when I first started and I have attended a Safeguarding Children course.
How has volunteering changed you as a person?
It’s made me more confident. It’s also helped me to better understand my own grief at losing my parents.
What is the best part of being a volunteer?
It’s really great to see the kids become more confident and open as the sessions go on, as they are usually come to groups with a certain amount of anxiety about what to expect.
What is the worst thing about volunteering?
I can’t say there is anything bad about the role.
What advice would you give to anyone unsure about volunteering?
Anyone who is empathetic and wants to really help vulnerable children should definitely think about volunteering with Jigsaw (South East). It can be hard and emotional at times, but knowing that you are helping them deal with the trauma of grief is always going to be worth it.
We thank Peter and all of our volunteers for the invaluable work they do. If you are interested in working with us as a volunteer in fundraising, admin or with families, please contact Sarah Dodson by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.