Celebrating our volunteers

Their valuable contribution underpins everything we do

Our volunteers give us their time and experience and help us to change people’s lives.

They offer their unique talents, skills and knowledge to boost our support for some of the most excluded and vulnerable people in our communities.

We recruit volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds, from students to chief executives. We currently have 61 volunteers working in 13 different areas of the organisation - from homelessness outreach to community mental health support.

Our staff say that without them, Porchlight wouldn't be able to reach as many people as we do. Our volunteers are an invaluable resource and their contributions underpin everything we do.

Thank you to all of our selfless volunteers who give up their time to help others.

Volunteer stories

David: "It's amazing to see how just being supportive and encouraging can make a difference"

David is a volunteer for our community inclusion service in Thanet, where he runs regular creative writing, film, music, and mindfulness groups. The service helps people who are feeling isolated or struggling with their mental health engage in new activities, get involved with their local community and meet new people.

David previously worked as a teaching assistant at a secondary school and enjoyed supporting students in their learning. He decided to give up paid work to volunteer as he wanted to support adults in a less formal setting.

During the pandemic, David set up groups on Zoom to bring people with shared interests together throughout Kent. The groups help people feel included while developing practical skills. “Mindfulness is particularly helpful for members who suffer from anxiety, and it’s been great to see members of the creative writing group grow in confidence.”

He also supports group members individually, listening to their experiences and helping them set goals to improve their lives. “It’s amazing to see how just being supportive and encouraging can make a difference,” David says.

“Even in a short space of time, I've seen group members turning their lives around, which is really inspiring.”

Glenn: "We connect with people, listen to their stories and get them the help they need"

Glenn first came across Porchlight while looking for a local charity to donate to. “After finding out more about Porchlight and the work they do, I decided that I wanted to become more actively involved.”

Glenn contacted us and was advised that there was a position available for an outreach volunteer covering Dartford and Gravesend, both local to him. “I was keen to help out and give back to my local communities.”

Glenn supports our rough sleeper team, going out early in the morning looking for people on the streets. “We connect with people, listen to their story and get them the help they need.”

“We are the first interaction people have on their journey to a better life. This makes it really rewarding and I enjoy knowing that the time I give up to help can really make a difference to someone else’s life.”

Glenn works full-time and has a growing family at home, but still makes time in his busy schedule to help others. He says his experience as a volunteer has opened his eyes to the challenges some people face.

“You are blind to it as an everyday citizen, you don’t see the rough sleepers or the hardship because you’re not looking for it. Being involved as an outreach volunteer really opens your eyes to your surroundings.”

Glenn says he would recommend volunteering to anyone. “It’s rewarding and you are making a difference. I plan to continue in my role for as long as I’m needed.”

Ryder: "I've gained such a lot from the short time I've been with the charity"

Ryder volunteers at sessions with LGBT+ young people as part of our BeYou Project. They support weekly activities and share their experiences as a transman/non-binary identifying person. They will also soon begin facilitating weekly art sessions for adults.

Having endured struggles and overcome adversity in their own life, Ryder felt drawn to volunteering to share their insight with others experiencing similar things. “I understand mental health, I understand transitioning; I’ve been part of the LGBT+ community my whole life.”

“As someone who is openly transgender, I am here to let people know that they are not alone and there are people out there who identify like them, who believe in them, support them and understand what they are going through.”

Ryder says the groups have given them insight on the work that still needs to be done to help LGBT+ young people. “Not only do we need to support these individuals, we also need to fight legislation that harms them and provide more support for their specific needs.”

“I've gained such a lot from the short time I have been with the charity. I want to help deliver change by representing a marginalised community that is very underrepresented and often not heard or supported.”

By supporting adults through their art sessions, Ryder hopes to provide a safe space for people to tap into their creativity. “Art is a great channel for self-expression and mindfulness.”

Ryder is keen to help other people in any way they can. “Everyone deserves support, understanding, patience and kindness.”