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Meet Gulshan

Read about Gulshan's experiences as a Turn2us Community Outreach Volunteer in Coventry

Volunteer at foodbank

Gulshan was one of the first Turn2us Community Outreach Volunteers. Community Outreach Volunteers help us to increase access and make it easier for people to use our online tools. This volunteer role is part of our plan to increase the numbers of volunteers participating at community level.  

Since stepping down from this role, Gulshan has reflected on her experience volunteering at Queens Road Foodbank in Coventry.

Talking to people in person

“When I started looking for volunteering opportunities, I was aiming for something which would give me a chance to talk to people in person and learn about their lives. And working as Community Outreach Volunteer with Turn2us proved to be everything I was looking for.

“The most joyful moments while working for Turn2us are when I feel a sense of calmness in people’s eyes that they have been heard and they can resolve the issues they are facing. With people from Citizens Advice and Resilience sitting alongside, it becomes easy to talk about their situation in detail and discuss most appropriate way to go forward for them.

A lot that volunteers can help with

It is not always within the reach of the volunteers to help with every person’s case but there is a lot the volunteers can help with, as Gulshan found.

“I admit sometimes situations are very complicated and it feels like we can’t provide much help. But even in those situations, we try our best to signpost them to other charities - and sit with them and try to convince them to seek out help. People I have met are very polite and show a lot of patience.”

Great working relationships

Gulshan volunteered at Queens Road for over five months and in that time made some great working relationships.

“It feels awesome when someone we have worked with earlier visits the foodbank, has sought our help and is in a better situation now. Nothing can measure the happiness we get when we realize that we could make someone’s life better even by very small amount.”

Barriers

There are a number of barriers that stop people from applying for benefits and grants. With face-to-face help from a trained Turn2us volunteer, we hope to break down some of those barriers.

Gulshan says: “I think it is a great initiative by Turn2us to go to communities directly and help with their benefits calculations and grant applications. And, since there are other charities like Citizens Advice and Christians Against Poverty working alongside us, we can signpost people to them so that they can get more help and support. Campaigns like 'Living Without' are some of the helpful schemes Turn2us is running to help people struggling to afford household items. These days, the internet has become a jungle and finding right information has become a tedious task. So projects like this can really make a difference in society.”

Want to volunteer?

If you live in or near Coventry and would like to volunteer as a Community Outreach Volunteer, get in contact with us today using email: volunteer@turn2us.org.uk.

If you don’t live in Coventry and want to get involved, check out our other community volunteering roles.

More information about foodbanks

Read the Foodbanks section of our Emergency Help Guide