`Hi, my name is Neil and I am a volunteer with Terrence Higgins Trust Cymru (THT), based at the Cardiff office. I have been a volunteer with THT for over 10 years helping with different aspects of the volunteer role, from fundraising to reception.'
It all started while I was a nightclub manager, I knew about THT and organized a charity night, as I have friends who are HIV+, and I believe in THT’s commitment to equality for people living with HIV, but even more, their raising awareness and health promotion to communities affected by sexual health.
The event was so successful that we arranged with THT to make it a regular event. While holding these events I became friends with Wayne, a sexual health out-reach worker for THT, and I came to understand more about the work of THT and was inspired to become involved as a volunteer.
I work on fundraising and out-reach events, such as World Aids Day and Pride Cymru (previously Cardiff Mardi Gras) raising much needed funds for THT and also giving out condoms and advice with bars and clubs of Cardiff, but my main role is volunteering at the Fastest clinic at the Cardiff office. Fastest is a free, confidential rapid HIV test available to anyone, with the results being given at 20mins, once the test has developed.
I am the receptionist at the clinic and have also been trained as a clinic member so I am also able to test clinic users that attend Fastest. The receptionist role works around my full time job, as most volunteering roles do, involves computer work, answering phones calls, paperwork and filing plus interacting with the services users of THT and by doing this role, it allows the team working for THT to be able to concentrate on their job.
The best part of volunteering for THT is knowing that you are helping, in your own little way, to help fight the stigma around HIV and also to be there raising awareness to those communities affected by it. You also get to meet and make friends with people that you would never meet in your every day life.
Why not apply to be a volunteer today?