Staff and Volunteers at Thirteen are celebrating after receiving a prestigious national award.
The Investing in Volunteers quality standard has been awarded to the Thirteen volunteer programme in recognition of its excellence in recruiting, training and supporting volunteers.
After a rigorous vetting process including a site visit and staff interviews by an external assessor, the National Quality Assurance Panel announced their decision.
Ian Wardle, chief executive at Thirteen, said:
“We are delighted to have achieved this quality standard in recognition of our commitment to our volunteers.
“Achieving this standard recognises that volunteering is embedded at the very heart of Thirteen and recognises that our volunteers have a fantastic opportunity to grow.
“Our volunteers show real enthusiasm and commitment, and we benefit hugely from the new perspective, skills, experience and knowledge they bring to the organisation.”
There are a range of voluntary roles at Thirteen including volunteer befrienders, counsellors, health champions and peer mentors and we welcome people from all backgrounds.
Wayne Simpson, who volunteers as a peer mentor at Thirteen’s Kairos project for people experiencing problems with alcohol, said:
“I first heard of the Kairos project when I was referred as a client. That was in May 2012, and I have now been alcohol-free for five years.
“Karios helped turn my life around and after receiving such fabulous support, I decided to I wanted to become a volunteer with the service.
“Volunteers play a vital role in supporting clients through their recovery and when the chance came up for me to get involved I felt it was the ideal opportunity for me to give something back. I feel that I can support our clients knowing that I have experienced similar pressures and challenges that they are facing each and every day.
“Being part of the Thirteen volunteer programme has changed my life, and I would encourage anyone who is thinking of signing up to do so. From my experience, the team will do all they can to offer help and support.”