When I was initially asked to write a ‘short piece’ about my experiences relating to client support, I confess that I wondered if I was really the right person to ask. I mean, when it comes to client support, I liken myself to a ‘jack of all trades but master of none’. Then I checked in with a few of my Freedom colleagues and found that this is quite a common theme and perhaps simply reflects the ever widening nature of the support that we find ourselves involved in.
Maybe the reader would find it interesting to read about a ‘typical morning’ within the Freedom client support team and I promise, I gave this my very best shot, but soon realised that ‘typical’ wasn’t easy. So how do I convey that the cases, like the people we aim to help, are all unique and that we never quite know what we’re going to be involved in from one day to the next?
Perhaps I could instead provide an overview of some of the presenting issues that the team has had the privilege of supporting. These involve varied benefit advice, housing support, child care support, debt advice and support, drug and alcohol issues, bereavement support, helping clients to overcome a low self-concept, anxiety management, the development and achievement of client personal goals and the provision of practical support such as furniture, clothes, bedding, and food parcels.
Why do I volunteer? I could say it’s about the obvious benefits of knowing we’re helping, that we’re making a difference to people’s lives and the rewards involved in helping clients to solve or manage their problems and that would all be true. For me, though, it’s about the cups of tea and the home baking shared alongside the sniffles, the biting of the lip and even the shedding of the occasional tear with a client. It’s about the smiles, the giggles, and the laughter shared with clients and again for me, those feelings equal any other activity I could mention and yes, even surpass the occasional gin and tonic I like to partake of (and it’s a lot healthier too)!