Hannah, Endometriosis UK Helpliner
How long have you been volunteering for Endometriosis UK?
A few months.
Why did you want to be a volunteer?
I decided to become a volunteer with Endometriosis UK after being diagnosed with the condition almost ten years ago. I looked into becoming a volunteer a couple of years ago but due to work commitments I wasn't able to give the time I wanted to. Since I started working part time recently I decided that now was the time.
I feel now I'm managing my condition through a mixture of diet, exercise and medication I feel I am more in control of the condition and have gained knowledge and understanding which will allow me to provide more support to women who are at different stages from diagnosis to fertility.
What is the most challenging part of your role as a Helpliner?
As a helpliner I feel helpless if I am not able to give the caller what they are looking for and can sometimes feel a bit deflated. Even though the caller might not feel this way I feel that I want to be able to give them more time sometimes and due to time and being able to give other callers time to speak, I have to be careful not to spend too long on each call.
Have you faced any challenges during your volunteering role and can you tell us about them?
So far, I haven't had any challenges! I have found it both a rewarding and uplifting experience and I really enjoy it!
Have you got anything unexpected out of the experience?
I think one of the most interesting things about endometriosis is that there is always new studies/new findings regarding the condition and that means there are always new things to learn. I enjoy researching and feel that this is one of the best ways to help live with the condition by arming yourself with the knowledge to help you understand it more. I find by speaking to other women I'm learning more and gaining more understanding and therefore I'm able to help them more.
What you gaining from being a volunteer?
I love speaking to people and I feel that I can give them a listening ear and help them when they feel that they are alone. I love helping and feeling that I'm making a difference to someone's life and if that means sparing ten minutes to just listen then I feel that I'm doing my job.