Every day this week, we're sharing a profile of one of our incredible volunteers. If you're feeling inspired, learn more on our Volunteering webpages.
Volunteer Area/Type: Dundee Youth Groups
Volunteer Anniversary: July 2017
If you were a soup, what soup would you be? This is the kind of question our Dundee volunteer might ask when you join the group as part of the weekly ‘icebreaker’.
Izzy joined our team in July 2017 and quickly became a trusted and well-known volunteer at LGBT Youth Scotland. Whilst she found her first group session as a volunteer “overwhelming”, Izzy says she quickly felt “like one of the family”. She went on to say, “I became a volunteer because I struggled in my own teenage years and wanted to provide support for young people that I wish I’d had”.
When asked about Izzy, our local manager Barry had this to say: “Working with Izzy is a total pleasure as she is one of the warmest and kindest-hearted people I have come to know. She has an ability to support young people to bring out their confidence and skills. A young person can walk into group feeling a bit down and after ten minutes with Izzy they will be smiling.”
Over the last several years, Izzy has participated in and led more youth groups then she can count. She has also been part of a number of focus groups and trainings including helping to shape our new volunteer training ‘Youth Work Ready’. Her input, as an existing volunteer, was invaluable in helping ensure we prepare our volunteers for success.
Izzy’s most memorable sessions include “when it took us all over an hour to figure out the instructions to make an origami dinosaur!” or “when I helped with a residential in St Andrews and read the young people a bedtime story at midnight – so surreal”.
Izzy has also made an impression on some of our youth group members with one young person saying, “I've only met Izzy a couple of times but when I did she was so bubbly and happy and this really helps to lighten your evening in the group".
When Izzy is not spending time in one of our youth groups, she is a family support worker for a children’s charity and hangs out with her pet lizard and snake. She enjoys cooking, reading and various arts and crafts. A fun fact about Izzy: she is a major sloth enthusiast!
When asked if she had advice for someone who is thinking about volunteering, she said “definitely do it, but be prepared that it will take time and effort to build genuine connections with young people so stick with it! I’ve had so many amazing experiences volunteering, I’ve loved seeing the progress the young people have made and how far they’ve come. It’s been even better than I could have imagined and sometimes the young people even make me a coffee”.