Susan joined us in 2015 and is a passionate advocate of volunteering. She currently volunteers for over 10 organisations, taking on activities including gardening, dog walking, stewarding at music and film festivals and working in libraries.

Here’s what she had to say about volunteering:

How did you first hear about Above & Beyond and why did you get involved?

I found out about Above & Beyond during Bristol’s year as European Green Capital, when the Council was really focusing on volunteering in the community and I signed up to as much as possible. Over the past 18 years I’ve volunteered for around 35 organisations – I just love volunteering! 

What do you like most about volunteering for Above & Beyond?

I work part-time as an administrator so I particularly love volunteering that gives me the opportunity to get outside or, at the very least, away from a desk and computer. One of the first events I helped Above & Beyond with was the Bristol Balloon Fiesta, which was so much fun. I’ve since helped out at events including the Christmas Star Concert for three years running, the launch of the Bristol Heart Institute Appeal last Autumn, donation counting at corporate events, bake sales outside the Fundraising Hub in the BRI and even a collection at a Bristol Rovers match – so it’s quite a variety!

What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering?

I currently volunteer for over 10 organisations including Above & Beyond and aim to do at least two hours of volunteering each week. I do it because I really enjoy it but it’s a chance to learn and explore, to find out more about your community and perhaps even step outside your comfort zone and do something that challenges you and helps you grow as a person.

Helping others is a huge part of volunteering and to hear just one person comment on how much they value what you do is worth a thousand thank yous.

In the year that the NHS turns 70, it feels more important than ever to support it. Volunteering for Above & Beyond to support the work it does in our hospitals is a fantastic way to contribute to a service that we've all used before and will most likely rely on again in the future. Ultimately, it's for us.