To celebrate Volunteers Week we asked one of our Volunteer Visitors, Tracey O'Connor, to tell us why she volunteers for Help Musicians UK and what it means to her. Tracey is a musician herself, you can check out her music here.
I’d wanted to volunteer for sometime but hadn’t come across anywhere that I felt like I could bring value to until a friend sent me an email about Help Musicians UK (back then it was the Musicians Benevolent Fund). He said it sounded like a good fit for me and he was right. It was the perfect charity for me to get involved with. Not just because I’m a Jazz singer and it was all about helping musicians, but because it just felt right. It was exactly the way I thought I could be useful in helping other people.
I’ve really haven’t thought about it until writing this blog but I realise I’m always intrigued about who’s going to be on the other side of the door when I arrange a visit to see someone for the first time. All the people I’ve met so far have been quite different in personality but all of them have had fascinating stories to tell. I met one man who had met so many great actors and actresses; one of his favourites being Angela Lansbury who he said was a delight to know. It was fab hearing the stories and looking through his photographs at the same time.
Topics of conversation can be quite random too. One lady I go to see is originally from up North like myself and we had a bizarre conversation about some of the old sweets we used to eat and wondered whatever happened to Pontefract Cakes! I’m in my 4th year of volunteering for Help Musicians UK now and it just feels like part of life to do a visit every few months. I can’t think of a better use of my time than volunteering. I’ve seen the difference it can make to someone and that makes it so rewarding. If that wasn’t enough, meeting different people and learning from them is massive. I’ve even picked up some really great singing tips from a soul singer!
I think it’s really important to find a charity that you fit well with and that means something to you then it just comes natural to help in ways that are not only valuable to the charity, but also enrich your own life too.
If you want to know more about becoming a Volunteer Visitor for Help Musicians UK click here.