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The People Behind the Support

Posted Wed 24th Oct 2018 at 13:42
by Molly Edwards

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Meet our super-star 'Volunteer of the Month', Molly Edwards. Molly answers a few questions about her experience as a valued volunteer for Tourettes Action.

Name: Marion (Molly) Edwards
 Helpdesk volunteer (e-mails only)

 

1. What inspired you to start volunteering for Tourettes Action?

Both my children and my husband have TS, my daughter quite severely. I felt very lost when she was first diagnosed, then my son and I found great comfort from the TA especially the conferences/family events as the kids could be themselves and we parents could relax around others who understood. When the children grew up my daughter was asked to volunteer and I went along to support her at the training - once there Emma very cleverly collared me as well and I have never looked back!!

 

2. How long have you been a TA volunteer?

I'm not sure?? A few years I think.

  

3. What volunteering role do you currently have?

Answering E-mails on the helpdesk.

  

4. Tell us a bit more about your role:

I answer e-mails on a Tuesday evening mainly and at other points when I am asked or have spare time. I try to provide as much assistance as I can with information sheets, info on support groups, emotional support or signposting to other organisations. Anything I don't know I will do my best to find out or forward to the relevant person.

 

5. What is the best thing about volunteering for TA?

Getting a lovely thank you from someone I have e-mailed. I remember how desperate I felt sometimes just for someone to listen and understand: Some of the responses I have had make me feel as though I really have helped that person see a glimmer of light in a dark place. If I can help one person feel better about themselves or their situation I am happy.

 

6. What advice would you give to someone who is considering volunteering:

The support of the volunteering network is fantastic and I think anyone considering this should be immensely proud to be joining a wonderful team. As long as you can be reliable, empathetic and be prepared to listen for just a couple of hours each week you can make a massive difference to someone's life. It is a frightening time for most families when they are given the diagnosis - they are left bewildered and unable to take in a lot of the information This is where we come in, to fill in the blanks once they have had time to digest the shock. I was really nervous to begin with but now I love completing a shift and feeling that I really have helped someone.

 

7. Anything else you’d like to add?

Being accepted into this wonderful family is one of the best things to happen in my life. Volunteering can be very emotional but also very rewarding knowing you are helping people at their most vulnerable. I have learnt so many things I didn't know about TS even though both my children have it. As research is gathering speed we are among the first to know of new breakthroughs and possible treatments - what could be better than that!


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