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We are the umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector in Southwark. We support charities, community groups and individuals through capacity building, networks and training.

Sophie’s volunteer story

Sophie* visited our Volunteering Advice Service in October 2017 and applied to become a ward befriender on a mental health ward.


Whilst Sophie had ten years’ worth of experience caring for people in hospital abroad, this did not seem to help her to find similar employment here in the UK. Sophie successfully attended a casual interview followed by four training sessions.

She initially felt very nervous as she hadn’t had much experience supporting those with mental health needs but quickly realised that most attendees were in the same boat. After completing her training and getting DBS clearance, Sophie began befriending a client in December and has continued to do so on a weekly basis and enjoys being able to brighten someone’s day and provide them with social interaction which is not clinical. In addition, she formed a friendship with another volunteer who was in her training course and now they meet on a regular basis.

Sophie states:

“My main motivation for volunteering was to gain up-to-date experience to try and get a job. However, there has been much more benefits than improving my CV. I feel of much more value, I meet new people and learn new things. I look forward to volunteering each week as it gets me out of my home and away from doing the chores”.

This story is just one example of the many rewards that volunteering can bring you.

Get started with volunteering!

If you would like some support to get started with volunteering, then book an appointment here and come in and see one of our Volunteer Advisors. Or for any queries please email: volunteering@communitysouthwark.org