Meet our Sponsored Volunteering Star - Victoria!
How long have you been a volunteer for Crisis at Christmas and why did you sign up?
I have been volunteering for Crisis at Christmas since 2016. Initially, I signed up because I was going to be spending Christmas on my own and having never done that before, I was worried that I'd get a bit lonely on Christmas day, and I thought I'd do some volunteering work. If I am completely honest, I was thinking more about myself than I was about the volunteering itself. But that changed when I started. I initially signed up for 2 days as a general volunteer, but ended up doing 5 shifts that year.
What sort of volunteering jobs did you do and why did you enjoy these roles?
I remember going to training and thinking about how I would cope cleaning toilets. As it turned out, I coped fine! Taking guests breakfast orders without a note pad - that was tough - and I should apologise as I think it was even tougher for the guests! Over the years, I have done a range of volunteering jobs, ranging from being the receptionist at the welcome desk, to washing guests’ hair, to sitting in front of a fire door with a fellow volunteer, making sure guests know their way around a centre without getting lost. I truly enjoy all the roles. Volunteering at Crisis at Christmas is about being a part of something bigger, no matter the size of the job. When everyone does their part, the project works and the guests have a safe and sound time, that’s what it is about.
What was the reaction from friends and family when you asked for sponsorship?
Friends and family were very supportive when I asked for sponsorship. I don't run marathons or ever swim the channel, so they were quite happy to support. A few of them were telling me they had always wanted to do it but never found the time, so it was a nice platform for them. I thought I'd stop the fundraising part a couple of years back, but I had many messages asking me when my page would go live. It turns out, while Crisis at Christmas was an annual thing for me, donating to the great cause is now an annual thing for them.
What is your top tip for anyone considering becoming a sponsored volunteer?
I think if anyone is considering becoming a sponsor volunteer, the answer really is just do it. I know it can feel a bit weird asking for money, but I now make sure I remember being a 'sponsored volunteer' is about providing a place for my loved ones to contribute. I post about what I have done during the shift, for example, the number of dinners I've served and the kind of people I have met. I think sharing the experience helps people feel they got their money’s worth! I also leave the donation link on my work email signature and out of office messages, so I can share the work of Crisis with a wider audience.
Find out how you can become a Sponsored Volunteer, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.