I started as a volunteer at Asist back in May 2012. I completed my induction training and went on to do some shadowing with the other Advocates. A couple of weeks later, I felt ready to take on my own case-load. Now I’m working with a Service User (A), who has cerebral palsy. One of the things they asked me, was that they wanted to do some volunteer work. (Which in the past others had said they would never be able to do it). I got straight onto the case and the following week Service User (A), was trying out the community café as a volunteer. Now Service User A is into their four week there.
To see someone achieve what they were told they would never do and would never be able to do, because they were never listened to or even given the chance too, is amazing! I can’t describe the feelings it gives me. When I now see Service User (A) they are empowered and more willing to talk about other changes that they wish to make to their life. Changes which as their advocate I will be supporting them with. For this service user acting as her advocate gave her the self esteem she needed to speak up about other wants and wishes and for me a sense of being complete.