Lurdilene ‘Lu’ Mercer is a programmes coordinator for Grandparents Plus. Before working with us Lu volunteered to help with grants applications and administration. Lu’s professional background is in human resources administration.
Why did you decide to volunteer for Grandparents Plus?
I always wanted to be a volunteer but never had a chance to get involved as I worked full-time. When I was studying, I used to volunteer, helping the CIPD with their social events and in 2017 I participated in the ‘Run the River’ event to raise money for a charity. In 2019 I was made redundant, which was my opportunity to get involved; to use my time and skills to help make a difference to my community.
I contacted my local council and told them that I wanted to become a volunteer and asked them for advice. They were very pleased to recommend Grandparents Plus. I visited the website and thought they were a great organisation doing amazing work and I couldn’t wait to get involved. I completed the volunteer application, had an interview, and in a few weeks, I started to volunteer.
When I went to Grandparents Plus’s office to volunteer there was a fantastic team spirit and I felt very welcome. It was totally different from working in a corporate environment. I felt that my work made a real difference to the charity, but also to the wider kinship care community. My time was well spent and I felt very happy and part of the team.
Why do you think it’s a good idea to volunteer right now?
It’s a very good idea to become a volunteer at this moment in time because of the impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown. There are many people, especially kinship carers, suffering from isolation and in need of someone who can understand their concerns, offer advice or just listen. Our Someone Like Me service is incredibly important right now and I recommend you take a look if you’d like to volunteer your time or use the service yourself.
I think volunteering is a win-win decision because, on the one hand, you will make a positive contribution to other peoples’ lives, and on the other hand you will learn new skills, build self-confidence and self-esteem. You will also meet different people and make new friends. If you can help, why not help?
If you’d like to find out more about volunteering opportunities please visit our Volunteer page.
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