Forum

Volunteering from home

I have just registered with Do-it voluntary opportunities - specifically, a web-based opportunity with ‘Fix The Web’ which identifies websites that are not disabled-friendly (very relevant for me) and The Samaritans, where I am particularly interested in answering letters and emails from people in need.

I took ill health retirement in the last 2 years and I have been struggling to feel useful and that I have a purpose and role in society. I also feel guilty whenever ‘benefit scroungers’ and ‘Motability’ (we have a nice car through Motability, which many people seem to object to and resent!) are mentioned in the media and I hope that this will be offset by making a contribution to society through volunteering. I don’t drive and am at home all day, my children all being old enough to be at work or school.

Do any of you volunteer, and how do you find it? I am hoping it will be rewarding and fulfilling, and will not be stressful as stress really aggravates my symptoms!

Interesting email.

As Marcus said, an interesting email Perky. I am in the process of entering the world of volunteers (where practical of course), also to keep my sanity.

Work seems to have become a no-go-zone and I am thinking about declaring myself ‘unfit’ for work (I still have a reasonable level of mobility, but I feel as if I am on ‘a wave’ -due to fatigue/ cognitivity issues- throughout every single day).

The decisive factor actually is my disabled daughter, so volunteering in my case starts at home, and from there on I will look further for possible other opportunities to keep in touch with society…

Hi, I admire you and your other respondent too.

But this is something i am concerned about…if you do voluntary work, will the DWP think you must be fit to work and stop your incap/esa?

I have heard about other folk in this situation, who have had their benefit stopped, pending investigation.

If I am wrong, then please accept my apologies.

luv Pollx

Hi, I use to volunteer at our local Field Study Centre. I left when I had a brain haemmorage which then left me, I think, with MS. I am still friends, on facebook or email, with a person who worked there so friends can be made. I do miss the work though and I am sure you are going to be made very welcome so good luck on your new venture.

jan

Poll, I bloomin’ hope not!

But seriously, this did occur to me too. I think it’s ok as long as you tell the DWP what you’re doing, and in my case it would be a couple of hours working from home a week when it suits me - and there aren’t many paying jobs that fit those conditions! Surely they couldn’t argue that this would mean I was fit for work? Although they (DWP) are so non-sensical and bound in red tape that nothing would surprise me.

Again, others’ experiences re; volunteering and DWP payments would be useful please?

Thank you for everyone’s encouraging comments so far, by the way.

Hi again, so sorry, didnt want to come over as a wet blanket re your ideas. Daffydilly has said she works under permitted work` rule.

good luck

luv Pollx

Hi, Ive just googled voluntary work when claiming esa/incap.All I saw was rules regardingpermitted work`. This is for paid work, yeh? But what about voluntary work with no pay?

luv Pollx

I really understand your motives. They are the very same reason that I spend a lot of time answering posts on the Limbo forum: it’s good to make a difference (or at least try!).

I get a lot of pleasure from my (self-imposed and completely unofficial!) “voluntary work”. It can be a bit stressful, especially when a lot of people want in-depth, off the forum help at the same time, but it is very rewarding.

I hope the new jobs will bring you a lot of pleasure and fulfilment too.

Karen x

Thank you Karen. I am glad to hear that you find your advice & help role to be rewarding - I hope I find similar rewards!

I can fully understand that it must be stressful for you so I hope you take measures to counter this, and look after yourself? Not being ‘official’ as you point out, means unfortunately there isn’t support for you in place; I imagine (and hope) that when one is formally volunteering advice about coping with the stress of the role will be built in, if that makes sense! I think I should be ok though, as I have a great Paul McKenna cd & book that combats stress and I do yoga at home.

There is a benefit to being unofficial though - I can walk away whenever I like!

Of course, it is fine to say that and not so fine to do - I worry about them!!! Which is very silly because there are other people who help out too.

I’m sure there will be support for you. Probably lots of training too for The Samaritans I would think?

Good luck with it

Kx