We spoke to Rizwan Aziz about his experience of volunteering…
What volunteering role(s) do you do at Ataxia UK?
I am a befriender for the Friends Connect service.
How long have you been volunteering with Ataxia UK?
I signed up as a volunteer around 8 months ago, and then waited a while to be paired with a befriendee as the Friends Connect service was being developed.
What made you become a volunteer?
I wanted to do some voluntary work as I like helping and working with people. Also, I have ataxia myself, so I wanted to learn more about it and other people’s experiences of living with their ataxia, including how they manage it and find motivation. I live on my own so I think it’s important to keep busy, build up your self-esteem and stay motivated.
Have you been a volunteer before your role with Ataxia UK?
Yes, I’ve volunteered in different roles for many years. I volunteered at a pharmacy to develop my skills and ended up getting a paid job there.
How have you found your volunteering experience with Ataxia UK so far?
It’s been really good. I think Friends Connect is an excellent service and it’s great that there’s lots of ways to get involved and connect with others depending on what suits you, including using Zoom, telephone calls or text messaging.
What have you gained from volunteering?
I’ve developed my skills and enjoyed meeting new people.
Would you recommend others to become a volunteer with Ataxia UK?
Definitely, if you have skills or time to offer it’s great to help Ataxia UK and the community.