Get In Touch:

01282 686402


Posted on 27 March 2024

Amy’s story: ‘Why I volunteer at Burnley Together’

Every volunteer gets something different from their volunteering experience. Whether it’s making a positive difference to people’s’ lives, improving their self-esteem and gaining invaluable work experience, volunteering can open many different doors and opportunities.

Just ask Amy, one of the dedicated volunteers at Burnley Together…

When Amy met Burnley Together

In many ways, Amy is your typical 22-year-old; she loves spending time with friends and trying out new cocktails. She also has learning difficulties, visual impairments and a heart condition, meaning she needs a role that works for her world.

During her search for a new volunteer role, Amy’s carer Jason suggested looking at The Calico Group for potential opportunities. That’s when Amy discovered Burnley Together. She quickly realised they offered just what she was looking for – something part time and community focused.

For those who don’t know, Burnley Together is a partnership of local organisations offering services to the local community. This includes Down Town, our community hub, café and grocery store in the heart of Burnley Town centre.

Amy’s volunteering journey so far…

Since starting her role last August, Amy volunteers now at Down Town three days a week. Her main tasks include helping out in the community grocery, working in the café and actively supporting everyone who walk through the doors.

Talking about her role with Burnley Together, Amy said: “I have a few extra needs so employment can be overwhelming for me. Volunteering at Burnley Together works around my needs without me getting overwhelmed.

“I love helping people and this position gives me the confidence to do that. It’s always nice know we’re helping with the work we do”.

Amy has gained vital workplace skills, new-found confidence and work experience by helping people from all walks of life. Not only that, but she also loves going to work every day; a feeling many of us dream of…

She added: “The positive environment here makes a lot of difference; it makes me look forward to coming to work every day.”

Amy Down Town Volunteer

“A year ago, I was anxious getting on the bus on my own – now, I come to work confidently.”

Like many young people her age, Amy struggles with anxiety, which can be a huge factor when it comes to the workplace. In the past, she enjoyed roles in retail, but it’s her job at Burnley Together that has helped her tackle anxiety.

Amy said: “Being here has made my anxiety a lot better. I’m definitely more confident talking to people. I still have my moments but working at Down Town has helped. Even if I’m a bit anxious on the way, I know by the end of the day I’ll always feel better.

“Abby, Nicola and Ella are really supportive. I’m treated like any other member of staff. I’m given opportunities to try new things and I’m trusted with responsibility”.

“The training given has been great”

From skills training to support daily tasks to enhancing her knowledge on various subjects, Burnley Together have offered ample opportunities to help Amy on her volunteer journey.

Talking about her ongoing training, the 22-year-old said: “I’ve learned about GDPR, safeguarding and other topics like domestic abuse. Most volunteer positions don’t give this level of training”.

She continued: “People from all kinds of situations and backgrounds come into Down Town. The training we get helps me recognise this and empathise more”.

The training doesn’t just help Amy become better at her job; it also helps her build her personal skills. Amy continued: “I used to hate talking on the phone. Now they are working with me to build my skills so I can work on the phone without any help”.

“Help is out there; you’ve just got to look in the right place”.

In the future, Amy would love to get part-time work at Down Town or work with older people. Right now, she’s loving being a volunteer and enjoying every day that comes her way.

She concluded: “I feel like this experience in the workplace and the training given has set me up to achieve my goals”.

Learn more about Burnley Together and Down Town or discover Calico’s volunteering opportunities and employability services over at Calico Enterprise. As a proudly diverse employer, we’re here to help everyone achieve career success – including you.

Translate »