Volunteering on a Sense Holiday: James’ Story.

Group photo of Sense Holiday Volunteers stood outside a house. A dog is in the picture at the front.

What’s your name and what you do?

James Morris – Occupational Therapy student at York St John.

Why did you volunteer on the holiday?

First and foremost, I wanted to be able to do some good and really make a difference with my spare time. I had a long summer from university and wanted to make the most of it! It was the perfect opportunity to do something incredibly beneficial for the holiday makers and extremely rewarding for myself! On top of all this, it was a really great experience and a chance to really develop my skills that will be very useful going forward in my career.

Who or what has inspired you to take part in the holiday? Someone you know personally or someone you’ve met through Sense?

I think that reading about Sense and their mission, as well as seeing what a difference it makes to those who it helps, was my biggest motivator. They do incredible work and I was honoured to be able to have been a part of it.

What impact did you think the holiday had on the people who we support?

I saw first-hand the huge difference these holidays make. I saw it in their eyes, their smiles, and their laughs that this was a great experience for them as well as us. The holidays are tailored around the holiday makers perfectly to make sure they’re always having a fantastic time.

Why do you think Sense holidays are so important for the families of the people going on the holiday?

I spoke to a few of the families of the people who were on the holidays who told me how much of a difference these holidays make. It’s a chance for families to enjoy their free time and reconnect with each other, knowing that their child/sibling is 100% safe and cared for – and having a wonderful time too!

What help and support did you get from the holidays team?

It was my first time volunteering on a Sense holiday, but I always felt fully supported by the holidays team. The induction day provided all the basics that I needed to know and set me up perfectly for the holiday, including what to expect and best practices. During the holiday, I always knew there were members of the holiday team to support me. Any questions or concerns I had were understood by the holiday team and I was never pressured or obliged to do anything I wasn’t completely comfortable with.

Is going on a Sense holiday brand new for you or have you done anything similar before with another organisation?

It was my first time volunteering on a Sense holiday, though I’ve done bits of volunteering before – but not for this long!

Was there anything about the holiday that was particularly challenging for you?

There were times that took me out of my immediate comfort zone, but ultimately acted as a huge learning opportunity and developed my confidence massively!

If someone was interested in volunteering for a Sense holiday, but wasn’t 100% sure, what would you say to convince them?

If you’re nervous that you don’t quite have the confidence/capability to be a useful member of the team, then a Sense holiday is perfect for you! It helps you develop every skill you have (and probably some you didn’t know you had!) It’s also a fantastic experience going forward in life, no matter what career you’re looking for, it shows employers that you’re responsible, compassionate and caring. It’s also a fantastic personal experience, and you’ll love every minute of it!

Is there anything you’d like to say to the people you supported, or their family?

I’d like to thank them for trusting the Sense team to provide this holiday. I’ve made some great memories on these Sense holidays and it was all down to those who were on the holiday with me!

Meet new people, try new challenges, explore new ways of communicating and visit new places – all whilst supporting disabled people to enjoy these experiences too!  Find out how you can be a volunteer for our Sense Holidays by clicking here.

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