Today is the second day of our week-long focus on some of the amazing volunteers who offer their time and hard work to the charities and groups we fund. Today, we hear from Wietske Wynniatt-Husey, a long-time volunteer at Assert.
Assert supports adults with Asperger syndrome and high functioning autism, and their parents, partners or carers, by providing advice, information, resources, advocacy, social inclusion activities, volunteering opportunities, support to improve well-being and reduce isolation, training and educational courses, mentoring support and benefits support. They received a grant of £9,208 from our Cullum Family Trust Fund recently to help fund the cost of their Volunteer and Activities Coordinator.
Here is what Wietske has to say.
“I have been helping out as a volunteer at Assert for just over a year now, and really enjoy the work. The initial training session was a real eye opener into the world of non-neurotypical people for me, and I have found it fascinating to meet many of the service users at various activities. It is great to hear how many of them feel that Assert has made a real difference to their lives and I’ve been impressed to hear how far some of them travel in order to attend Assert activities.
As a volunteer, I feel very well supported by the staff, and I have also started meeting one of the service users as a one-on-one ‘mentor’ (having attended some further training first). The framework and ground rules for these mentoring relationships is explained very clearly to both ‘mentor’ and ‘mentee’ before their first meeting, which is really helpful. It also helps to know that you can (both!) always speak to the volunteer coordinator, should any issues arise.
All in all, I would say that volunteering with Assert has given me a good insight in the lives of people living with Asperger’s and/or autism and I feel enriched by the experience. I hope to be able to carry on for a long time.”
Assert volunteer, Wietske Wynniatt-Husey