Most rewarding

From the August / September 2017 issue of our magazine, we hear from a teenage volunteer in Ballymena is recruiting new volunteers to the Society.

David Byrne

School student David Byrne says that volunteering for Alzheimer's Society was the 'logical choice' after we supported two family members.

'My great-aunt and grandmother both experienced dementia in their latter years and I was thoroughly impressed with the wide-ranging support facilities offered by the Society during their time of need,' he says.

'I wanted to give back to the people who so generously helped our family, and effect positive change in the lives of those with a diagnosis.'

Recruiter

David, 17, is a volunteer recruiter in County Antrim, helping to promote opportunities for people to contribute their time and skills to the cause.

He has written articles about the work of current volunteers that have been published in a number of local newspapers. One piece recently helped to attract new volunteers to our Side by Side service, which supports people with dementia to keep doing the things they enjoy.

David, a student at St Louis Grammar School in Ballymena, has also been spreading the word at community events.

'During a discussion at my local parish I talked through some of the opportunities, and a girl decided that she would love to get involved with the local activity group,' he says.

Supported

David appreciates the support that Society staff have given him.

'They take into consideration your expertise, talents, aspirations and passion, and craft a unique role which suits your schedule,' he says.

'The support I have received from my volunteering officer has been excellent. It's wonderful to be able to meet with her on a regular basis to discuss and review our progress.

'The educational opportunities afforded to volunteers have also impressed me thoroughly and I'm grateful to have the chance to learn so much about dementia.'

Development

David hopes to develop his volunteering further now that his exams are over.

'I now feel that I have the confidence to offer my services in a more personal manner through something a little more hands-on,' he says.

'I would love to encourage more, especially young, people to give their time to such a worthy cause,' says David.

'The Society has been incredibly flexible with my busy schedule as a student, and now that I have a little more free time it would be nice to offer my support in a different area.'

As he reflects on a positive first year with Alzheimer's Society, David hopes that others his age will also look to get involved

'Volunteering is perhaps the most rewarding way to spend your time,' he says.

'I would love to encourage more, especially young, people to give their time to such a worthy cause.'

Next steps

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