"Volunteering has really helped my career"
Philus’s volunteering journey began at the start of the pandemic. Like many, he found himself with time on his hands and a desire to do more to support those around him. Philus started supporting vulnerable and isolated members of his local community by helping to collect and deliver essentials such as grocery shopping and prescriptions as a Community Response Volunteer.
Sharing his motivations for volunteering, Philus said: "I was inspired to volunteer following a conversation with my wife while we queued to do our food shopping. The pandemic was a difficult time for everyone, especially for vulnerable members of our community. She asked me how they can get by on their own. And that’s all it took.
"That conversation gave me the motivation and courage to sign up. I knew there was more I could do to help the NHS and support people in my community. I registered as a volunteer and a week later I was out and about helping people.
"I started as a Community Response Volunteer, supporting those who were vulnerable and shielding. I was able to ensure members of the community had all their essentials by collecting medication from pharmacies and doing their food shopping. It felt great to help my community and put a smile on lonely people’s faces."
Transitioning to a Steward Volunteer for the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, Philus found the experience rewarding, leading to personal and professional growth.
"Volunteering has really helped my career. To support the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, I began stewarding at my local vaccination sites. I have had a very enjoyable and rewarding experience. The volunteering and pharmacy teams are really supportive. I have had the opportunity to meet with professionals and share ideas and values. When I began looking for employment, I was able to get a reference from the Pharmacist.
"Volunteering has helped me to connect with my community in a positive way. I’ve gained new friends, developed my communication skills, and also learned new things.
"I volunteer to make a difference in my community. It's something I plan to continue doing. It’s how I’m Playing My Part."
Philus has also recently signed up as an Emergency Response Volunteer, which means in the unfortunate event of a crisis he’s ready to step in and support when and where it is needed most.