My time as a volunteer with Sense Active was a fantastic experience, to say the least. I was lucky enough to be able to participate and help people in many different activities – my favourite of which was rock climbing.
Climbing – but not as I knew it
I loved going climbing, which took place on a Tuesday. Along with Jon Fearn (Sports and Outdoor Development Co-ordinator) and the specialist instructors, I got a taste of what people with sensory impairments experience at the climbing centre – and how they move up and down the climbing wall.
Jon and an instructor encouraged me and my fellow volunteer, Emma, to climb a wall with ear plugs in and a blindfold on, to get an insight into what it is like for a deafblind person to take part – as well as how hard and scary it can be.
We also learned British Sign Language (BSL) from one of the carers, fingerspelling the alphabet and communicating with one particular lady.
Cycling on Wednesdays was another of the activities I really enjoyed (see Emma’s blog describing her experience). This involved using specialist bikes that I had never used (or even seen) before. Health and safety was one of our key jobs, making sure everyone was fully equipped with helmets and strapped in if needed.
A moving experience
The thing I enjoyed the most while volunteering at Sense was interacting with and getting to know different people while doing the activities. Finding out what people had achieved was also great. It is an experience that I have definitely been moved by and will always remember.
To find out more about how you can volunteer for Sense Active, please email Callan Barber on email@example.com.