Sue Taxson: Sharing her vast experience has been a real benefit
RMC Health Team volunteer and former psychologist Sue Traxson continues our Volunteers Week celebrations, by sharing her experiences of volunteering at the centre, supporting communities in Wolverhampton and talking about how it has benefited her.
I have been volunteering with the Health Team at the Wolverhampton office at RMC for over two years.
Upon retirement – and with 35 years of experience supporting young people and families as an Educational Psychologist – I wanted to do something which differed from my previous job, but which allowed me to use my skills and experience.
I was also keen to contribute and give back to the community of Wolverhampton where I have lived for over 30 years; a place I love, and for which I am grateful to have had the positive experience of living in a city where diversity is valued. Aware of the excellent work done by RMC through friends who had been involved with the organisation, I made enquiries about how I could help and joined the Health team as a volunteer in March 2017 shortly afterwards.
As a Health Team volunteer, we help clients to register with GPs, dentists and opticians, as well as supporting them to access appointments and sort out queries involving health matters.
It is essential work, as without good health, how can you possibly focus on overcoming all the other barriers of settling in a new home and building a new life?
In addition, I have been involved with running the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing Course’ for clients new to the city. The six week course concentrates on supporting emotional wellbeing, focusing on what is available in the city to improve wellbeing as well as increasing a sense of belonging for clients in their new home.
Finally, we have also begun running training sessions for staff and volunteers on mental health awareness, enabling me to support staff when working with clients and in stressful situations.
Volunteering at RMC has benefited me greatly. Every day I volunteer I learn something new from either our clients, other volunteers or the staff. I have made some great friends and feel very lucky to be volunteering in a place with the positive ethos of RMC. I’ve also met some exceptional people and know that as a health team, we make a difference to lives of people who are recently arrived and to those with difficult issues to deal with.
I would support anyone wishing to volunteer at RMC. Everyone is appreciated, thanked and valued for their contribution and the community spirit is exceptional. I know of many people who have started volunteering at RMC that are now working in the Midlands and other areas using the skills they have learned at the centre.
For a volunteer application pack, please email RMC’s Volunteers Manager Craig Hands at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers’ Week (1st – 7th June) is a nationwide opportunity to say thank you for the fantastic contribution volunteers make. Throughout this week, the Refugee and Migrant Centre (Black Country and Birmingham) (RMC), will be bringing our supporters a story each day, highlighting the diverse and invaluable contributions these people make. To find out more about how we’re celebrating, follow our Twitter or Facebook.