Volunteers’ Week celebrates the work of volunteers across the country. To mark it, we’re publishing the stories of some of our great volunteers past and present, starting with Nafeesa who volunteers with The Kirklees Advocacy Service and Peer-Led Brokerage Service.

After working in the retail sector for 13 years. I felt the need for a new challenge. In 2011 I took on a voluntary role as a befriender in a women’s prison, working alongside the Muslim Chaplain (whilst keeping my position in the retail sector). This helped me in many ways as I myself, for the past 15 years was being mentally abused by someone close to me.
I volunteered for 2 years. In these 2 years it gave a me a great insight on working with people and helping them. I found this work very rewarding. It encouraged and inspired me, what could I do to help the local community and make a positive difference to their daily lives.
In 2014 I started looking for jobs in the voluntary sector where I came across Touchstone. I joined Touchstone in September 2014. My journey began with the 6 week volunteering course. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and found it very beneficial. Where i came across people from all different walks of life. Every one had a very unique,individual experiences and stories to share.
Once the course was completed I was given the opportunity to volunteer in the Dewsbury  Touchstone office. I have been honoured to shadow Amina who leads the Peer Led Brokerage service and Nelson with the Advocacy, both who I look up to as brilliant, encouraging role models and are great at their jobs!
I come in to work for 5 to 7 hrs on a Friday on a weekly basis. I am made to feel very welcomed by all the members of staff within the office. From day one I have been greatly supported right the way through.
I feel very involved and part of the team, my contribution is very well received and appreciated by all.  Together I feel we are all making a huge difference in helping the service users in the community to better their lives.