Cliff - volunteer

Cliff came to INS three years ago on the suggestion of his wife. Having spent 25 years specialising in health and safety at the BBC, he discovered that his services were greatly needed at the charity.

“They weren’t advertising for my position, I just came along and said ‘this is what I can do.’ It all fell into place as they’d just had a meeting with a consultant about all the work that needed to be done but they had no one to do it.” Cliff now spends his time making sure things such as risk assessments, and policy updates are all dealt with correctly. His other, more specialised, area is all about hazardous substances. “I keep a list of those products and produce risk assessments for them all, which the consultant can check through and make sure it’s all in order. I also have a qualification in health and safety which has greatly helped.

Whilst Cliff has undoubtedly taught the staff and volunteers a great deal about health and safety since joining in 2013, he’s also learnt a lot from his time here. “I wasn’t aware specialist charities like this existed and provided this sort of help. They pick up where the NHS finishes and are filling a definite gap. It’s been very interesting learning all about the various classes and the help that’s given to people.

Volunteering at INS has also given Cliff opportunities to do some things he’d never experienced before. He was asked to sit on the interview panels for the previous two incoming Volunteer Co-Ordinators, a privilege that he was never granted whilst at the BBC! “That’s something that stands out for me. I was really surprised to be brought in on that but it was an enjoyable experience that allowed me to meet some different people and see the opposite side of an interview situation.

The benefits to Cliff since he began volunteering at INS are numerous and he is sure that anyone else that joined would have similarly positive experiences. “There are benefits, particularly if you’ve got an attribute you can offer or even for younger people who want to join and get experience of this environment. It brings a lot of satisfaction to people. From my point of view it gives me the opportunity to meet people and expand horizons. It’s been good for me and to be honest, even if they hadn’t had the health and safety role available, I probably still would have volunteered here!”