Spotlight: Young Volunteers

28 Jan 2016

Spotlight: Young volunteers

18 year old Krishny Shibi has been volunteering in Jewish Care’s Vi & John Rubens Home in Ilford for the past year. She is one of hundreds of young volunteers who spend time every week volunteering for Jewish Care. Some young people like Krishny see volunteering as an opportunity to explore potential career paths, others volunteer as part of popular awards programmes such as Yoni Jesner or the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme, but all have one thing in common – they want to give back to the community. Whatever the motivation, our army of young volunteers are welcomed with open arms by Jewish Care staff and clients.

In this article Krishny shares her thoughts and experiences of her time volunteering for Jewish Care and why she would encourage other young people to have a go:

As someone who was very close to my own grandfather, I always hoped to be able to volunteer at a care home for the elderly. I first heard about Jewish Care from a friend of mine at school. I messaged the volunteers’ department and a staff member came back to me promptly to arrange an interview where we discussed both my aims and expectations and Jewish Care’s requirements. I was surprised by how helpful the whole process was, I remember being asked if there was a specific quota of the number of hours I needed to complete in x amount of months or not. There was also a discussion on the roles and what is expected from a volunteer but also what the volunteer should and can expect from the home and what to do if you are put in a difficult situation-which was very reassuring! Starting out, I had come to the conclusion that the best time for me during a busy week with Sixth Form and my other commitments, was a weekday evening when I could help with the Dinner service. It was through this I met the residents at a local care home for people living with dementia who required the extra care. It not only helped me to improve my communication and listening skills but also develop a greater confidence in myself and my abilities in conversing with different types of people too. This again was an invaluable experience and opportunity for me as someone that was a hopeful medical student. Over the course of my time volunteering with Jewish Care this past year, I have garnered a great respect for the carers and staff at the care home, who provide the residents with respect and dignity as they deserve. It was also the carers’ compassion and love behind their actions that came to my attention which inspired me to hopefully one day do the same in my profession, having seen how that seemed to light up some of residents’ days.

Throughout the past year when I have volunteered I have been privileged to meet a wide array of different characters, from a loud and proud lady who referred to me as ‘dolly’, to a gentleman who was seated at the centre of the dining room with plenty of attention whilst simultaneously away from others to prevent him from nit-picking their every action!

As someone that is -grades willing- going to be studying Medicine in the near future, this experience has been an honour. To someone thinking of wanting to volunteer or hoping to develop a greater understanding as to whether a career in healthcare (be it in Nursing, Medicine, Dentistry or any Care-giving setting), I would highly recommend finding an opportunity to volunteer.

Volunteering has helped give me a more refined and clearer understanding of how care homes work as well as clear up some misconceptions of the care sector in general.

So to those of you who can see a likeness of yourself in my analogy, STOP WAITING, and GET STUCK IN! You won’t regret it, I CERTAINLY did not!

Krishny Shibi (Age 18)

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about volunteering opportunities for young people, please get in touch with the Volunteers’ Department at volunteersdepartment@jcare.org or via our website