Volunteers Studies – Omars’ Story

Using volunteering to change career:

Dealing with change

I was in my previous job for 20 years, driving and delivering. I was made redundant in 2013 and was unemployed for a long time. I had a stroke in May 2014 which left me with severe nerve damage in my left arm. I had my first heart attack in 2009 and my second in January 2014. I was very stressed from not working for two years. I’m getting back to normal but I can’t do heavy lifting and need to avoid stress.

I decided to do volunteer work in April of this year. I had done admin work before in the offices of the car hire company I was working for. I felt that volunteering would give me more experience, something to do with my time and get other people to trust me on this type of work.

Admin work is less stressful and now I’m hoping to get a job in administration. I like meeting new staff and new people. Everyone is friendly here and there is a good atmosphere. Everyone is willing to help each other. I help to run stalls at events, update the database, keep accurate records and enjoy working as part of a team.

I’m willing to show people how to use computers and share my knowledge. I also go to Mencap to get help in taking my next step in my new career. I’d like people to know that they might have a disability or have had long-term health issues but they are still able to do some voluntary work. It keeps you occupied and you learn new things as it progresses. I also volunteer with the Stroke Association as an Ambassador and St John’s Ambulance as a Response Driver.