Constantin has been volunteering with Vista since August 2018, taking part in a wide range of tasks at head office and even running the Leicester 10k race, raising donations for Vista as well.

 Constantin was looking for volunteering experience in Leicester when he wasn’t on shift. He approached several different companies and charities but found their lack of organisation and communication frustrating. When he looked through Vista’ website and spoke with Rayhana, the Volunteer Development Manager, he found roles that he would ‘like to do’ and applicable to his skills.

 ‘I expected to be doing boring work,’ Constantin said, laughing, ‘but it’s been exciting to do new things.’ Since starting his volunteering, Constantin has worked with marketing, fundraising, community services, finance and Leicester Ageing Together, as well as having his own project given to him by the acting Chief Executive. ‘I’ve been tired, but happy. I like to do the heavy stuff, it feels good.’

 The wide range of roles have helped Constantin gain not only office experience but confidence in himself. ‘It’s been good to start off [doing simple tasks] and working my way up, to do work and be happy.’ He’s appreciated the challenge and has been eager to do more. ‘It’s nice, the personal progression. I have been able to do work that has made a big difference. You end up wanting to do more.’

 ‘Being from Romania, I thought I’d not fit in.’ At first Constantin was quiet by his own admission, ‘but the teams have been friendly and open’ and it wasn’t long before he came out of his shell. ‘It’s been helpful to talk to so many people and have a joke around. Everyone has been so flexible and helpful.’

 ‘I’d recommend everyone does volunteering. I’ve given the application sheet to some of my colleagues already.’