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To celebrate National Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June), we held a tea party and made the Bristol Stool Chart cake in honour of two of our most dedicated volunteers. This was just a small token of our huge appreciation for the work they do to help children and young people affected by continence problems.

ERIC is a small organisation, with just 12 members of staff, only four of which work full time. So our two volunteers, Crescent and Julia, play important roles.

Crescent has been with ERIC longer than any other team member: nine years! Crescent works for a young offenders institution, and on her day off she helps the fundraising team at ERIC. From entering new donors and donations into the database, to claiming gift aid, to thanking donors, to researching charitable trusts and foundations, Crescent gets stuck into everything. We can’t imagine how we would cope without her support.

Rhia, Julia and Crescent
Rhia, our Communications and Campaigns Manager, with Julia and Crescent

Crescent started volunteering at ERIC because she wanted to build her confidence and skills. She signed up with a local training provider who thought ERIC would be the perfect fit.

Crescent has gained in-depth understanding of the functioning of a small charity as she has helped out in all the teams. She's processed cheques for the finance officer, helped out the media officer by sending press releases, put new products on the sales database, and helped the helpline team with data entry. She says though that she's happiest working in fundraising.

Crescent says: ‘I’ve developed good admin and IT skills whilst volunteering at ERIC. I’ve also learned how a charity works and how fundraising appeals encourage people to donate. On a personal level, my confidence and social skills have improved as well.’

Another one of our volunteers is Julia. Julia came to ERIC when her job was under threat of redundancy. She wanted to maintain her knowledge of working in an office environment in case she needed to look for other work.

Julia spent some time assessing applications for the School Toilet Award, but now helps out in the training department. Julia plays a important role in organising training seminars. Julia put a lot of effort into organising the ERIC conference in 2014 and says she really enjoyed it, plus the fact that she got to attend the conference.

Julia cutting the cake
Julia cutting the Bristol Stool Chart cake

Julia says: ‘ERIC is a friendly place to volunteer and I know what I do is appreciated. I also like getting to hear about the people that we help. The in-house training sessions that the ERIC Nurse, Brenda Cheer, puts on have increased my understanding of continence issues.’

The whole team at ERIC is grateful for the time and dedication that Crescent and Julia give to the charity and to the children, young people and families that we help. They both put in a lot of effort, but we are still in need of other volunteers to help out in the office. We are also developing a network of ERIC ambassadors who will spread the word about the information and support ERIC offers to children, parents and health and education professionals.

If you are interested in volunteering with ERIC, please contact Sharron Gibson - [email protected].