I am an online peer support volunteer on the myHIV community forums.
As we are an online function we are able to offer support to people who are in the safety of their homes across the country. I have been a volunteer for 18 months now.
I was diagnosed HIV+ in September 2013 and became a member of the community forums. The ability of having access to the peer support volunteers, who have their own range of experiences of coping with a diagnosis, is invaluable. As a result when the opportunity arose to apply to be a volunteer I took the chance and applied.
The best part of being a volunteer is being able to see the progression people make and being able to support them as they progress. Members may join within a short space of being told their diagnosis. They are often upset, scared of the future and unsure of their next steps and sometimes just talking with someone who’s been there makes all the difference. We then see them over weeks, months maybe as they have come to terms with the diagnosis and are moving on with their lives that they initially thought would never be possible.
To see people come to that point in their life is a great feeling when you have been a part of their support network.