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Post | For volunteers | 2 min read

Alison's volunteering story

Written by Laura Bazley
Alison at a carers group

“I wanted to give something back to a group that had helped me when I needed it and because I felt that my experiences could help others.”

Having been a full-time carer herself, Alison now helps others by volunteering for her local Carers Support Support Group. Read her inspirational story below.

“My role involves facilitating a Carers Support Group. It entails organising monthly meetings, welcoming new members, and keeping in contact with carers between meetings if they are having problems. I am also an ambassador for carers with various official bodies.

“My role started by default as the other members of the group decided that I probably had most experience of how the health and social care systems worked when my predecessor left. I carried on because I wanted to give something back to a group that had helped me when I needed it and because I felt that my experiences could help others.

“The group provides support and a safe place where a carer can rant or cry or share how they are feeling. It has given me a lovely group of friends and makes my ‘bad years’ worthwhile.

“I would recommend that others volunteer as it helps you have an interest in life outside your home environment. It can be challenging at times but also very rewarding.”

Emma McGarva, Somerset Carers Service Coordinator, said:

“Volunteers are the backbone of carer groups. They provide the regular warmth, emotional support, wise words and of course the cake that makes carers groups an integral part of the free service provided to enable carers to continue their vital role.”


Cath Holloway, Carers' Support Group Development Co-ordinator at Spark Somerset, said:

“Carers Group Leader Volunteers are integral to the success of the groups. Without them, the Carers Service could not offer much needed support, compassion and signposting to carers. 

“Not only can the volunteers be relied upon to organise venues and speakers, but they are also skilled in managing conversation between carers, structuring peer support and helping carers to develop solutions for themselves. This in turn enables Carers to return to the people they care for, feeling refreshed and with new tools and resources.”

If Alison's story has inspired you consider volunteering, help is needed at Carers Support groups across Somerset. Click the link below to find an opportunity near you.

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