Kally is a telephone befriender with Sandwell Together. She joined us at the start of 2022 and is inspirational in her approach to life and helping others. She is genuinely interested in people and loves to listen. She has a clear career plan and is using this experience to increase her personal knowledge and understanding of how best to support lonely, vulnerable and isolated people. She will also be volunteering at the Birmingham Commonwealth 2022 Games and we have no doubt she will have an amazing experience which will lead to further adventures! When she met up with the Volunteer Development Officer she agreed to share her views around the benefits of volunteering.
‘I’m passionate about people and wellbeing; at the start of the year after being hit by Covid I wanted to make and achieve some goals to fulfil in 2022. I have been volunteering in different ways since my teenage years and given recent events and experiences, I wanted to use my time more wisely and give back to my local community. I came across Sandwell Together Telephone Befriending service through The Herald newspaper and applied to be a volunteer. I had my training and after this, I got my first phone pal and continued to build my telephone friends list.
The past few months have flown by and I have really enjoyed getting to know people and hear their stories and have had some great conversations over the phone. I understand how difficult it may be for some individuals who don’t have any one to talk to or feel alone, so to hear my telephone friends laugh and talk about their memories shows how important the little things in life are and how far communication and listening can really go as a skill.
I’ve made strong connections with my telephone friends, as it’s nice to share similar stories and memories no matter the difference in ages. I look forward to my weekly calls as it’s a positive boost to know I’m making a little difference to someone’s life and it’s also a getaway from my 9-5 work day. I find volunteering rewarding, I’m grateful for this opportunity, and the team have been so supportive and helpful.
My message to anyone thinking of volunteering is to be kind and open minded, everyone is on a journey and it’s beautiful for those to tell their story and be heard, and this is why volunteering can bring joy in so many ways.