Volunteersí Week is an annual event which took place at the start of June. It celebrated the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK. Below we hear from one of our volunteers Cathy Curran.
My name is Cathy Curran and I am a 33 year old wheelchair user, from Holywood.
Monday 14th August 2006, is a day that I will never forget. It was the day I started at Disability Action as a volunteer.
I had finished my Computer courses in June of that year. I left Belfast Metropolitan College with a Masters Certificate in Computing, ECDL and all my Word processing qualifications.
I now needed to get the relevant computing experience in order to find suitable Employment. I trawled the internet for employment which would also give me the relevant experience, but to no avail.
However, I did find out that Disability Action, which is only 5mins away from where I live, were looking for volunteers for different departments, so I wrote to them stating my qualifications and asking what volunteering opportunities were available. I had an interview 2 weeks later and was immediately accepted. I would be working 3 days a week from 9:30 – 12:30, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Monday 14 August 2006, I started my first day on reception at Disability Action.
By the end of 2012, I felt my computer skills were not being challenged enough and when I heard of an opportunity to move to Marketing, I jumped at the chance. Marketing gave me the experience and challenge I had been looking for. Here I have grown in confidence, made many good friends and met each challenge head on.
My intention was to stay as a volunteer, long enough to get enough experience to gain employment. However, I enjoyed my time here so much that 10 years later, I find myself still volunteering with Disability Action as a Marketing Administrator. Marketing has allowed me the opportunity to use all my computing skills that I acquired as a student in Belfast Metropolitan College. My remit within the marketing department includes producing and distributing the company’s internal newsletter each quarter. I also regularly update the company website with upcoming news and events.
My hopes and plans for the future, well, no one really knows what the future will bring. I hope I am still working in Marketing at Disability Action and learning and experiencing all that it involves.
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