Our Volunteers We are incredibly lucky to have a wonderful cohort of volunteers who bring their unique perspectives and experiences to our organisation. Meet some of our amazing volunteers to find out why they joined Opening Doors below: CATRIONA, 36 What made you want to become an ODL volunteer? “I signed up to volunteer with ODL when my Uncle-Frank died at the age of 94. We were close and I missed having a much older person with a completely different outlook and experience of life to talk to and bounce off. I'm an actor and a writer so I love stories and enjoy listening to the tales of other people's lives, finding out what makes them tick.’’ What is one thing you have learnt volunteering with ODL that you didn’t anticipate? “I never thought it would be possible to meet someone who liked musicals (and singing the songs from musicals out-loud) as much as I do, but ODL has facilitated a match made in musical-heaven.’’ THANK YOU FOR YOUR HARD WORK, CATRIONIA! Christian, 30 What made you want to become an ODL volunteer? “After my Nan passed away in 2016, I felt that I had a real loss of an older person in my life. I was told by a friend about Opening Doors London's befriending scheme and felt that it was a perfect service not only for me who wanted to connect with someone who was older, but to connect with an older LGBTQ+ person who may be dealing with issues around isolation.’’ What is one thing you have learnt volunteering with ODL that you didn’t anticipate? “I have gained such invaluable insight into what life is like as an older LGBTQ+ person through my befriendee, but I think the main thing I have learnt is how often older people are ignored or made to feel invisible, especially when they identify as LGBTQ+. Older people are often desexualised which in turn means their sexual identities aren't acknowledged. More often than not their sexual identities are very important facets that build up their personalities and interests.’’ THANK YOU FOR BEING SUCH AN INCREDIBLE VOLUNTEER, CHRISTIAN! Phillipa, 71 What made you want to become an ODL volunteer? “I think I volunteered with ODL to try to give back to our LGBTQ+ community and also because it is a good charity. I wanted to keep busy and meet up with other like-minded new friends.’’ What is one thing you have learnt volunteering with ODL that you didn’t anticipate? “Everybody I’ve met at ODL has been so nice. It’s an invaluable service to our community, and I hope it can continue after the pandemic in one form or another.’’ THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT, PHILLIPA! Simone, 34 What made you want to become an ODL volunteer? “I feel like today we are living in a privileged position compared to the past (while being fully aware that there is still so much more to do) and giving back a bit of my time to the community and to the people that paved our way through years of difficulties and fights seems like a natural thing to do.’’ What is one thing you have learnt volunteering with ODL that you didn’t anticipate? “I have enjoyed immensely all the hours spent chatting with my befriendee, I have learned a lot about the LGBTQ history of this country and, being Italian, a huge deal about the UK in general (which probably made my naturalisation process and my citizenship exam way easier!). I am sure my visits produce a positive effect on my befriendee’s life, decreasing the sense of isolation, reducing his loneliness, but I cannot stress enough how much I gain simultaneously from this experience.’’ THANK YOU FOR YOUR SPECTACULAR WORK, SIMONE! OUR OPPORTUNITIES We’re always looking for new volunteers to help us run our social events, set up fundraisers, join our telefriending service and so much more! If you are interested in supporting us and becoming a volunteer, then check out our current opportunities. We’re so excited to welcome you to our team! Unfortunately, due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, most of our face-to-face programmes are suspended. We look forward to resuming these programmes soon and would love you to join our team! We do have other opportunities available like our telefriending programme, which remains a vital support system for our members. Want to join our team? To join our volunteer team, please fill in our Application form, Declaration form and Equalities and Diversity Monitoring Form below. APPLY NOW If you have any questions about the application process or volunteering roles, please email [email protected] Thank you for your support and we look forward to you joining our team very soon!