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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Sarah - Admin & Reception Support Volunteer

Meet Sarah our Admin & Reception Support Volunteer who we’ve been lucky to work with since August 2019. 

Tell us a bit about yourself and why you wanted to volunteer with Housing Rights  

Hi I’m Sarah, I started volunteering with Housing Rights almost a year ago. I’d been looking for volunteer work because I wanted to be actively involved in the community I lived in, help others, and gain experience in new skills. Housing Rights attracted me for a few reasons. Once I had moved, rented a room, and began working, I realised how much I little I knew about local legislation, policies, my rights and responsibilities as a tenant or what the obligations were for a landlord. That made me want to help in legal aid and housing sectors in particular. 

I also believe housing and homeless issues are some of the core concerns in addressing human rights issues. Adequate and safe shelter is important for physical, mental, and emotional well-being, it is important for an individual’s dignity, and it can be the difference between living independently or not. I have been very happy to volunteer in the housing sector, and work to help everyone having a home. 

What did you want to get out of your volunteering experience? 

I wanted to help and meet new people. I also wanted to learn, build, apply new skills, and grow as a person. Volunteering has always been important to me - in the USA I served in AmeriCorps, local educational programmes, and food pantries. But I wanted to help people in a way that would help me grow into a better advocate for myself and others as well as providing direct assistance, and I hope to continue to do that. 

What were the highlights of volunteering with us? 

I have enjoyed meeting people, learning new skills, and taking advantage of the coursework such as the Housing Advice Training Programme. I feel like Housing Rights has been an organisation where I have come out of it with more knowledge, skills, or experience than I had going in, which wasn’t always my experience volunteering in the past. 

What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering with Housing Rights? 

I would say a person should volunteer! There are multiple areas that can use volunteer work, and volunteering is a great way to learn more about how things work “behind the scenes” in the world around you. It also is very fulfilling and the knowledge you pick up is very applicable to everyday life. 

Find out more about volunteering with Housing Rights and how you can apply.