Volunteer stories Volunteering with the BUILD Charity comes with many varied opportunities. For some it is about taking a governance, or leadership role, professionally and efficiently working in the background to ensure that the charity conforms to its objectives and the regulations that ensure it meets legal and moral obligations. One such role is that of a Trustee. Here, Sophie Peek, current Chair of the Board of Trustees talks about how she got involved, what role she performs and what she gets out of volunteering. Sophie's story..... "I’ve been involved with Build as a volunteer for over 10 years – I was looking for an opportunity to volunteer using the skills and experience of 20 years in HR. I have been a trustee and more recently Chair of Trustees. I work with the Chief Executive and my fellow board members and my role is to ensure Build meets its objectives and legal requirements, and ensure we have the funds and plans in place to do this. We work with staff, funders, volunteers and beneficiaries to agree plans and strategies to ensure Build can continue deliver the great work it does now and in the future. I enjoy using my professional skills and experience to support Build and the Chief Executive in the effective leadership of the charity. I enjoy the real challenge of an ever changing social, financial and regulatory landscape for charities. There’s also the chance to enjoy social activities with beneficiaries such as the annual dinner dance where you get to see the real joy and benefits that Build offers. " For others it is playing a role on the front line, supporting people with disabilities to get the most out of life, by helping them maximise the social, leisure and learning opportunities, we offer. Here Maria, a volunteer within our Skills for Life and GetAways Programme talks about her role, what impact they hope it makes, and what they get out of volunteering. Maria's story....... "I have been a volunteer with BUILD for just over two years and my role involves supporting members and beneficiaries on trips in the community as well as being a regular volunteer on the Skills for Life Workshops which allows me to work on a more one to one level with members and beneficiaries and guide them with important life and social skills. Volunteering with BUILD is extremely rewarding and has given me the chance to visit some amazing places such as Cadbury World and Harry Potter Studio Tour. I have really enjoyed all the trips and getting to know the other volunteers, staff and members. But for me being a volunteer is not just about the social aspect, its more about giving up my time and supporting people with learning disabilities and encouraging them to achieve and make the most of the social and learning opportunities offered by the BUILD charity" Around 17% of our current volunteers have disabilities themselves. Some give their time supporting their peers within programmes like the Wednesday Club, as well as directly benefiting from our services. Others find that volunteering with and for other people with disabilities is in an environment where they feel equally valued and respected. Here is Colin's story, who having previously been employed by the charity, now volunteers every week with the Wednesday Club as well as being a leading member of our training unit. Colin's Story.... "Colin became a volunteer by accident, when he was visiting the Wednesday Club with another organisation, and he answered the then Co-ordinator's request to help staple some annual reports. That was over 30 years ago, and in the time since he was been employed as the Club Leader, and when he retired, after a short break came back and now plays an active role in the Charity's Training Team, sharing his knowledge and experience with new staff, volunteers and external customers, helping them understand what it is like to live with disability. He says he is "proud" to do it and "very grateful to BUILD for the opportunities volunteering has given".