Skip to main content

Rosie's story

Rosie from East Lothian started volunteering with Royal Voluntary Service in August 2023 after seeing an advert in her local shop for volunteer drivers for our Patient Transport service.

Rosie, who has autism spectrum disorder, has worked and volunteered throughout her life, but after experiencing a long spell of ill health, had to take some time out. During this time, Rosie began to feel isolated and her confidence deteriorated.

Eager to improve her self-esteem and step back into life, after seeing the ad, Rosie decided to take the leap into volunteering again, thinking it might be a chance to build her confidence and ready herself for finding employment.

Since starting as a volunteer driver, Rosie’s confidence has grown massively and it has helped her get life back on track. In October 2023, Rosie also started working again, and now has a steady cleaning job in a residential complex for the over 60s. She believes the experience and skills she’s gained supporting Royal Voluntary Service and older people, played a big part in securing the job and succeeding in it.

"Before I became ill, I’d been working for a lady in the village cleaning and gardening, but she got moved into a nursing home. I’d also done a lot of volunteering for a range of causes, from ecological work and archaeology to supporting families who have children with additional needs.

"But my illness stopped all this and I began to lose confidence. My self-esteem was very low. When I saw the advert for volunteer drivers, I thought it could be a good opportunity to get back to doing something I enjoy - giving back to the community - and help prepare me for finding work again.

"Volunteering with Royal Voluntary Service has been great, I love the role and look forward to it each week. I drive older people to their medical appointments. It can be different people each week, but I also have regular clients too. The role is so much more than just providing transport, it’s a chance to talk and offer company.

"It’s been lovely to meet so many new people and practice my chit chat. I’ve really grown in confidence and enjoy feeling helpful and being part of the community. I’ve received a lot of support myself from the NHS, so it’s wonderful to give back.

"Volunteering has given me reason to get out and about and I’m less panicky now about driving to new places. My car has never been so clean and organised!

"I’ve learnt a lot and the training I received from Royal Voluntary Service has got me back up to date in a number of areas. For example, the online training was very clear and accessible and got me back into using a computer again.

"Volunteering made me feel ready to find work again. I applied for the cleaning position at the residential complex and being able to talk about the experience and skills I’d gained through volunteering, specifically working with older people and my dementia awareness training, was very beneficial in my interview. I think it’s also helped me settle in and succeed in the role.

"I’m happy to be back working and volunteering again. My self-esteem has increased exponentially. The job is a lot more social than I expected too, which is important to me."