Volunteering by Numbers: John’s Journey

Posted on: 21st March 2014

Alex first applied to volunteer at Body & Soul in June 2009. He found us through the company he was then working for and had attended a few company volunteering days at Body & Soul. After attending Body & Soul’s new volunteer training, information and induction evenings, he soon became one of 250 regular volunteers providing support to over 4000 people living with and closely affected by HIV.

Of the volunteer team at Body & Soul, one in three has been volunteering for more than 3 years. People don’t commit to volunteering if they don’t feel they are making a difference, and they certainly don’t stay that long.

Volunteering at Body & Soul is not a lesson in sympathy. It is a way to take an active role in the world, where the impact each person makes is undeniable.

Throughout Alex’s experience of volunteering with the young people at Teen Spirit, he has built skills and awareness of his surroundings. We recently surveyed the team and found out that:

  • 78% of volunteers felt confident or extremely confident in their ability to support vulnerable people
  • 83% felt confident or extremely confident in their ability to discuss difficult topics like stigma and death
  • 78% felt confident or extremely confident in their HIV knowledge
  • 77% felt confident or extremely confident that they were making a positive impact on society
  • Finally, a massive 92% of volunteers felt confident or extremely confident in their understanding of the impact of poverty on individuals and families.


Alex’s volunteering led to a major change in his career. Now two years into training to be a counsellor, he is not the only volunteer whose academic or career path has been influenced by volunteering at Body & Soul. In fact, 70% of our volunteers have taken a  different path on their career journey since volunteering at Body & Soul.

We hope that we change the way our volunteers see themselves and the connections they want to make with the world around them. On average, Alex devotes an incredible 20 hours each month to volunteering at Body & Soul, and he’s not alone – 39% of volunteers give the same amount of time each month. In 2013, volunteer hours equated to the equivalent of an additional 10.5 full time staff members, which almost doubles our current staff team.

Our volunteers are extraordinary individuals. Warmth, friendliness, humility and the ability to form strong relationships are the core skills that they bring to the team. If you would like to be a part of this incredible journey and meet other volunteers just like Alex, then what are you waiting for? Apply online and begin your journey with Body & Soul. Who knows where it will take you?

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