My Name is Daniel Rutherford and I volunteer with Carers Trust Tyne and Wear. I have been a part of the organisation since June 2019. Even though this has been a relatively short time, I have thoroughly enjoyed working as part of the team. I mostly help with administrative work and IT-related tasks but there can be many different tasks, including sorting and uploading files electronically, documenting items that need to be sold, giving input in staff meetings, helping with IT problems like fixing the projector resolution, and working on the new website.

Usually, I volunteer on a Tuesday and Thursday with my day-to-day being quite flexible. In the morning, before starting on a task, I greet people over a cup of tea, as everyone here is very friendly. The tasks during the day can vary depending on whom I’m working with but will typically be on a computer as this is where I’m looking to get the most experience. I can normally take lunch/breaks at any time and I always feel valued and welcome here. Even though there is no pressure to accomplish tasks, my role here is quite important as even a small help can allow my colleagues to focus on other things. This, in turn, means the people needing support can receive a better service.

The tasks focusing on the new website have been the most enjoyable and interesting so far. This week has been about organising tasks towards the website and creating content for some of the pages. Currently, I am helping with the website layout and making the pages work efficiently. There have been a couple of challenges with this project. Some of the layout options don’t give control over certain aspects of the website and some of the forms have to be designed from the styles the website uses. However, solving these problems by reading and experimenting with the site manager tool has been extremely gratifying. It has also greatly helped my technical skills and experience for working on IT problems in future roles.

"Volunteering for Carers Trust has been extremely worthwhile"

Furthermore, a lot of the task management and troubleshooting has been a new experience for me that has given me insight into what a role like this entails. When the website is launched I will get a great sense of satisfaction that I have been involved in helping those in need. This will remain with me as the website should be live for a long time to come. There will also be new content to go on regularly, giving me more opportunities to develop it further.

It has surprised me how accommodated I have felt here. The people are really nice and the atmosphere has always been fantastic. The moment I remember the most is having my picture taken (shown above) while eating some of 25th Birthday cake for Lane Systems, which really made me feel included.

I’m sure I will be happy to volunteer here for the foreseeable future and thanks to everyone working here.