Spotlight on Danuta
My name is Danuta and I have been volunteering as a Communication Volunteer with the Advice Shop for 3 years. My role is to translate between Advisers and Polish customers at prearranged appointments in Bathgate Partnership Centre. I generally cover 3 appointments on a Monday between 9.00am and 12.00noon.
I was looking for ways to improve my English, meet Scottish people and look for ways to help people, so I started to look for volunteering opportunities. I saw an advert for the Advice Shop and spoke to someone I knew who worked there. She suggested that I contact Joanne MacKenzie to see what opportunities were available for me. Joanne gave me lots of information about the different roles available and I was really interested in the Communication Volunteer as this would allow me to help customers who didn't have English as their first language. I filled in an application form and went for an interview and was accepted on to the Induction training. I was so pleased.
The training was very good and gave me the confidence I needed to begin volunteering. There are also lots of on-going training opportunities to keep your skills up-to-date and to allow you to develop new skills.
I really enjoy my role and feel that I help to build a good connection between the Adviser, the customer and myself. These appointments can be very stressful for customers as they are generally speaking about their financial situation, so it is important that they trust me.
I feel part of 'the family' volunteering in the Advice Shop. The staff are so friendly and helpful and are always happy to speak to me and help me with anything they can.
My volunteering role has been the best experience of my life and I am keen to do even more. I have already spoken to Joanne to find out if I could train to become a Disability Benefits Volunteer within the Advice Shop. I hope to start training for this soon.
My aim has always been to help people in any way I can so I am currently in my 2nd year of a Business Management course at West Lothian College with the hope of getting a job where I can work with and help as many people as possible.
Who knows, maybe I will be an Adviser with the Advice Shop one day!