Ian has a keen interest and previous experience in adult learning and was initially intrigued by the nature of the Elevate programme. He has been in his role as Elevate volunteer for only six weeks but has already been heavily involved in the administration of the Elevate classes. 

In addition to volunteering with the Elevate project, Ian also volunteers with ‘Wheels for Work.’ They loan electric bikes and scooters to school leavers or unemployed people enabling them to access work and eventually source their own form of transport. Ian helps by refurbishing the donated bikes, which fits in with his own interest in cycling.

When asked about why he wanted to get involved with Elevate, Ian explained that being able to draw on previously acquired skills from his work in adult education attracted him to the role.  

Ian is involved in a number of activities which help to support the Elevate programme’s administration and delivery. Controlling the hectic sessions by supporting instructors with pre and post course paperwork. As well as inputting and analysing data to provide evidence of the programmes impact.

Ian told us how being involved in the above activities has enabled him to, apply the same skills in a different way, explaining that he also enjoys learning new skills as a result of his time spent working in adult education.

Although volunteering can be challenging, Ian explained that he has not faced anything too daunting whilst in his role with Elevate and the Energize team. He told us that he enjoyed the variety of work and that it was stimulating, which is what he was looking for following his retirement. Working as part of a team was another benefit Ian discussed as it was something he enjoyed when working full time and wanted to continue.

As a result of this, Ian can see how his work helps to free up time for other staff members to focus on the areas of Elevate which require greater attention. He explained how he is able to spend longer interacting with participants over the phone and at classes than other staff members ensuring that participants still have a positive experience.

Christina, the Elevate project officer, oversees the work Ian is involved in told us that, “he has helped to ease the pressure of a very demanding role for myself as I can delegate jobs to him and trust that he has built rapport with the participants.”

Ian told us that he would recommend volunteering to anyone as it gives you the opportunity to step into other people’s worlds. Ian explained that he would not have necessarily had the right background and qualifications to work in an organisation such as Energize, however the volunteering role has given him the opportunity to do so. 

Advice Ian had to offer for those considering volunteering roles is to negotiate what you and the organisation want. Explaining that this was the best way to ensure that both you and the organisation benefit from the time you give up.

To read more about Elevate, click here

Or for more information contact, Christina Morgan