Volunteer - Ruth
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Having spent 25 years helping barristers to negotiate European Law, INS volunteer Ruth Jones was looking for a role that would allow her to continue to use her professional skills during her retirement.
Ruth initially fell into the role after it was commented that someone was wanted to organise the displays. She has spent the last two years carving out the position for herself, benefiting both clients and staff in the process through the introduction of a small lending library and her constant updating of the resources for staff, clients and volunteers.
“We have a changing programme of special displays every month and in the two years I’ve been here I’ve probably covered about twenty subjects; ranging from the various medical conditions that are covered by INS as well as diabetes, independent living, alcohol and smoking related issues and information on travel and transport for the disabled.”
Ruth has volunteered at other organisations besides INS over the years but has always enjoyed her work here because of the freedom she has been allowed to make the position her own.
“It’s a challenge up to a point but I like the fact that I’m able to bring my knowledge, my skills and my experience to the role.”
Ruth has free rein to choose the subjects but always listens when people make suggestions although, ultimately, she has to contact all the charities and organisations to get materials and also designs posters for the displays.
“Unlike some charities I’ve tried to get involved with, INS is very non-bureaucratic. Some places you go you feel as if you’ve got people looking over your shoulder the whole time, telling you that you can’t do this or that. It’s very depressing but at INS it’s like a breath of fresh air. I’ve also got to meet lots of different people and everyone’s so friendly, it’s amazing! Everyone genuinely seems to enjoy their work here.”
Volunteers are vital in order to help INS continue to support people medically, emotionally and practically and Ruth believes that anyone who showed up to volunteer would find a way to fit in and use their experience to the advantage of the charity. And whilst the comments on just how tidy the lobby has looked since Ruth was appointed the role of librarian are always appreciated, what she enjoys most is how welcoming everyone is when you come in the door. “There’s always a friendly, smiley face ready to greet you when you arrive at INS!”
Volunteer Community Journalist