This shows pink wallpaper with some ripped off, underneath it reads volunteering with the Beacon logo.

Have you ever wondered what difference being a volunteer can really make?

To mark Volunteers’ Week our People Manager at Beacon, Debbie Fox, has written a blog for us about how giving some of your time to help others can quite literally be lifechanging.

Recently, I was delighted to meet with Rajinder, who attends many of Beacon’s activity sessions run by Mary, one of the Lifestyle Coordinators based at Sedgley.  Fresh from a book club meeting at Beacon, Rajinder was kind enough to talk to me to tell me about how Beacon’s volunteers have made a difference to her life.

Rajinder experienced a stroke in 2019 and as a result, now has some sight loss.  She was recovering from her stroke and adjusting to life with sight loss when covid-19 came along and put a stop to everything.  By the middle of 2022, Rajinder felt that she needed to find out more about services she could access for low vision support. This brought Rajinder into Beacon Centre for a meeting with Meena, one of our Sight Loss Advisors.  As well as low vision support, Meena advised Rajinder about some of the activities running at Beacon.

Rajinder was keen to get out and access activities, and she describes meeting Meena and Mary as like a breath of fresh air!  As a result of that meeting, Rajinder now attends numerous Beacon activity sessions including our book club, exercise sessions, swimming, walking and even tandem bike riding!

She spoke so passionately about the difference that Beacon’s volunteers have made to her life over the past 12 months and described every volunteer she has met at Beacon as kind and helpful.

One story that really stood out for me though was about our volunteer Tina, who guides Rajinder in walking, swimming and more.  With Tina’s support as a training buddy, Rajinder recently completed Beacon’s 5k Colour Run.

She told me how supportive Tina is and how she looks forward to their time together, often spent laughing and just having good fun.

Rajinder also told me about how she has recently signed up for tandem biking, with our staff member and volunteer Derek, who helped her overcome nerves to become a big cycling fan!

It can be really hard to quantify the value of volunteering but it’s so often found in the stories of those who benefit from their time.

We’re so fortunate to have almost 200 volunteers here at Beacon who all make a difference, whether that’s directly in roles similar to Tina and Derek or indirectly, in our shops, helping to raise funds for our work.

During national Volunteers’ Week, we wanted to say thank you.

One of the greatest gifts you can give is your time, and we are so fortunate that so many people give theirs to Beacon.

If you’d like to find out more about our volunteer roles, please contact our people team on 01902 880 111 or email