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“I recommend volunteering at St Basils, they’ve given me some great opportunities”

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“I recommend volunteering at St Basils, they’ve given me some great opportunities”

At St Basils we value the contribution of our volunteers and do the best we can to make volunteering experiences with us useful and rewarding. We always love to hear from anyone who feels their time at St Basils has made a difference to them, whether that be as a resident, volunteer or Staff member. As it’s National Volunteers Week we just wanted to share this testimonial from Matthew Forrest. Matthew came to volunteer at St Basils in December 2018 and is still with us, now as a paid worker. Here he shares his insights as to what he feels he has got out of his time with St Basils so far…

“I started at St Basils as an admin volunteer in December 2018. I’d applied to volunteer one day per week to get some experience in an admin role. Initially I worked for the Health and Safety Manager, Batch, doing various jobs, including creating forms and analysing data. I then started supporting Vanessa, the data analyst for the Birmingham and Solihull Youth Hubs. I found that I enjoyed working with data in both roles. Vanessa gave me responsibility for redesigning one of the monthly Youth Hub reports.

In June 2019, after a few months working on the Youth Hub data as a volunteer, I was offered paid cover work in the same role, initially 2.5 days per week. This was a fantastic opportunity and I am very grateful to Vanessa for offering it to me. I spent the next few months working on the annual reports for the Birmingham and Solihull Youth Hubs.

Vanessa had other key responsibilities within St Basils (including leading the Rough Sleepers Outreach Team) and, as a result, I gradually took on more of the data role. As of early 2020, I am acting as the data analyst for the Birmingham and Solihull Youth Hubs. I spend most of my time preparing data returns for the local authorities that commission the Youth Hubs, and writing reports which illustrate the great work that the Hubs do. I’ve developed lots of IT, analytical and presentational skills in this role, and had the experience of being part of a dynamic and purposeful organisation.

St Basils has given me some great opportunities. I would recommend volunteering here, particularly given the range of roles available, from the admin side to working with vulnerable young people.”

Matthew Forrest

Team leader Vanessa Newey added:

“Matthew started volunteering for me some time ago, it was a huge benefit to have his support as this enabled me to then focus on other tasks. This was so much appreciated and I can’t thank him enough for all of his commitment as a volunteer. I saw very early on that Matthew had a great eye for detail, was extremely methodical and had the vital skill of being able to analyse and manipulate data and turn it in to something meaningful. I was really pleased when Matthew successfully secured paid employment with St Basils. It is great to see how much confidence he has gained within his role, and how much he has progressed. He is an asset to the Youth Hub and to the wider St Basils organisation.”

If you’re interested in volunteering at St Basils please see the Volunteering section of our website to find out more and apply.

Apply to be a volunteer