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Izabela volunteers with the Fundraising and Events teams as part of her studies.

She volunteers for 25 hours per week and is hoping to pursue a career in events.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Izabela. I was born and raised in a small town in Romania and almost 6 years ago I decided to come to Edinburgh with my now husband. I never thought I would say this, but I love everything about Edinburgh (well except the weather, of course :). I love how kind the people are, I love their famous tea, I love the history of Scotland and even the sound of the famous bagpipe!

What made you want to become a volunteer with CHAS?

I study (BA) International Festival and Events Management with Tourism and as part of my studies I had to do a 6 month project. After many interviews with different charities and private companies, I felt that my place wasn't with any of them. I was so anxious that I wouldn't find anything that I like and it was then when CHAS came into the picture. I had my interview with Sarah, Fiona and Louise (fundraising staff) and I immediately knew that CHAS would be the perfect place for me. Just hearing how involved they are in supporting so many families with a child with a life shortening condition, how many volunteers are involved in this ''mission'', I knew I had to be one of them.

How often do you volunteer?

I volunteer 25 hours per week.

What volunteer role do you have?

In order to pursue a career in events, I support both the High Profile Events Team and the Community Fundraising Team, helping in all aspects of coordination of events and fundraising.

How did you find it becoming a volunteer with CHAS?

Simply AMAZING! I am so blessed to volunteer for CHAS because I have never met a team so strong, so kind and supportive and so determined to reach their goals.

Have CHAS staff been supportive?

Every single time. They were always there for me when I needed any advice, or when I thought I couldn't do something. They made me believe in myself and I became so confident and every single task I had to do, I always told myself ''I can to this'. And guess what? I did it!

Volunteering gives you an opportunity to change people's life, including your own. It gives you the satisfaction of playing a role in someone else's life, helping people who may not be able to help themselves.


What does being a volunteer mean to you?

Volunteering gives you an opportunity to change people's life, including your own. It gives you the satisfaction of playing a role in someone else's life, helping people who may not be able to help themselves. Volunteering is a way of giving back to your community while developing important social skills, and gaining valuable work experience all at the same time.

Do you have any memorable moments or unexpected benefits of volunteering?

In my first week at CHAS, myself and Sarah, which is one of the community fundraisers and also my supervisor, went to visit one of the hospices, - Rachel House. The first moment I entered the building, I felt love, support, kindness and warmth. Rachel House is not a hospice, is a place where children with life shortening condition spend their little time they have left in the most amazing place.

Any funny stories or incidents?

Well I am sure everyone has heard about their biggest event, Capital Sci Fi Con. I had the chance to volunteer 2 days (it was the craziest days of my life) and Saturday night CHAS offered me the chance to meet and have dinner with celebrities. Imagine me being a HUGE Harry Potter fan, seeing Mr Filch (unfortunately without Mrs Norris : ) right in front of me and couldn't say a word! Awkward) Of course in the end I managed to say few words and took some lovely pictures. It was a superb night, where Keith Armour and Fiona Leslie managed to deliver a night that no one will ever forget, and that includes me!

What do you think is one of the best things about volunteering with CHAS?

The simple fact that I can contribute in helping so many families in need.

What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering?

We are very fortunate that we are healthy, have a job, families and beautiful children. I know that our main job and other responsibilities that we have are mind blowing sometimes, but think about CHAS. Think about what they're trying to achieve, think about those families that need your support. Volunteer, even if its 1 day a week, just do it! Help others and believe me you're going to love it. Help CHAS. Help your community.

Is there anything else you want to add?

I want to thank Sarah, Fiona, Hayley, Louise, Laura and my colleagues for showing me what a strong team can achieve, for their support and trust. You guys helped me so much in such a short time.

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