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The People Behind the Support

Posted Mon 19th Nov 2018 at 12:30
by Sophia Savides-Macris

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

Name: Sophia Savidis-Macris
Connection to TS: I have TS

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

When I first developed TS, I felt very alone and isolated. I didn’t know anyone else with the condition and I wasn’t sure how or where to get some support. Eventually, I learned to manage my condition and I decided that I would like to help others who may have been in a similar situation to me. I found Tourettes Action online and sent an email to enquire about volunteering. I had some great training with Helen and I was ready to get started!

2. How long have you been a TA volunteer?

I have been a volunteer since 2015.

3. What volunteering roles do you currently have?

I initially started as a Helpdesk Volunteer. I was anxious about speaking on the phone, so I asked if I could do emails only. Around two years later, when I had finished uni for the summer, I emailed Emma to see if there was anything else that I could help with. I like to keep myself busy! Emma asked if I was interested in doing some admin work and as a result, I got to meet Pippa for round two of training!

4. Tell us a bit more about your roles:

As a Helpdesk Volunteer, I respond to emails that come through the helpdesk. These emails may be from those who have TS, their friends or family, teachers or medical professionals. The type of enquiries can vary greatly from requests for more information on TS, to questions about the process of being diagnosed, how to manage TS and what type of support is available.

My admin role involves adding and updating contacts on the Tourettes Action database. I then log the report forms that all volunteers fill in after their shift.

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

The best thing about volunteering for Tourettes Action is knowing that you are making a difference to the person you are communicating with, whether they are at the beginning of their TS journey, supporting someone with the condition, or simply need to talk things through with someone who can offer impartial advice and signpost to various resources.

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

Go for it! If you would like to be part of a team that works towards changing the lives of people with TS and those around them, then volunteering on the helpdesk is a great opportunity to do so. You will not only be supporting others, but you will be well supported by Tourettes Action who offer comprehensive training and regular communication to help you develop and strengthen your skills.

7. Anything else you’d like to add?

Volunteering is a hugely rewarding experience and I am very grateful to Tourettes Action for giving me the opportunity to get involved and be part of a wonderful community!


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