'Having found myself unemployed during the pandemic, I contacted Volunteer Hartlepool in order to utilise my free time and improve my confidence. Whilst completing the introduction to volunteering course over four weeks, I found the tutor and other volunteers to be extremely helpful and welcoming. I then went on to volunteer at Waverley Community Gardens. It was an extremely positive experience for many reasons; Not only did I get to meet an incredible group of people and learn a lot of new skills whilst at the gardens, I had access to great support from Tracey and her team which really helped me improve my confidence and decide on my plan for the future. The support and encouragement I received ultimately lead to me securing a new position and the hiring manager had referenced the volunteering as one of the reasons I was offered the job. After having such a positive experience with the service I would actively recommend volunteering to anyone looking to make a positive difference in their life.'
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