Helping others overcome obstacles
Briony from the Gavel Club
Why did you decide to volunteer?
I had always been heavily involved in service work throughout high school, but once I got to University I wanted to diversify what I was involved with. I am a Linguistics major at the University of Auckland and have always been interested in Speech Therapy. So when I heard about More Than Words I thought it'd be a great opportunity to give back in a much more direct way, and to gain insight into a field that I was considering entering.
Why did you choose this particular organisation?
I was both astonished and intrigued by how people with aphasia were being given this opportunity to practice both their everyday and formal speech in an environment just for them. I though the idea was just incredible! It reminded me of when I was young and joined the debating club in order to gain more confidence public speaking - it just felt right to get involved with helping people gain more confidence with their speaking.
What is it you really enjoy about your role and volunteering?
There is a sense of belonging, not just between the volunteers, but between the members and volunteers. It's a joint effort by everyone there. Every day at club is unique and special. You are there for the members, not just to help them with their communication but with their everyday lives. Over time I've watched the members not only smile and grow but overcome some of the most difficult obstacles - and that makes volunteering worthwhile.