Why You Should Join BuDS

(My Story So Far as a BuDS Volunteer)

When I found BuDS I had been unemployed almost two decades. It was quickly noticed that I am committed, determined, driven and capable of many tasks.  Due to my Cerebral Palsy, no employer had ever given me the chance to show this before.

Joining BuDS, I had finally found something that I had been looking for in a very long time. A chance to grow beyond the confines of my disability.

After starting at BuDS I only ventured into the office a few times before lockdown. Within weeks, I was venturing into my first Microsoft Team Meeting with Michael and the Digital Skills participants. Luckily I wasn’t alone on my learning curve, the whole BuDS Team successfully converted from a traditional office based charity to a fully remote online charity. We seem to have achieved far more than any of us thought was even possible.

At BuDS I am researching how Covid19 and the lockdown is impacting on disabled people. I have written publications and contributed to the charity’s work in building new policies. As a team we have reached over 40,000 people with help and advice, and are actively lobbying for change. I have also directly supported the wellbeing of others using my own personal insight into disability and mental health.

"As difficult as lockdown has been, I hope that an increase in remote working and a more flexible approach to job roles will continue. This combined with the right support opens the possibility of employment for many disabled people. "

In the last 4 months I have learned a great deal about remote working, MS-Teams, MS-Forms, Excel and gained a massive amount of workplace confidence. I now feel at home as part of a workplace. I do not think I could have learned this from courses.

It’s with great pride that I say I have been part of an amazing team, which has been one of the only charities to successfully convert to fully remote working.

My newfound confidence and skills are something that I hope will pave the way to me being able to work from home in the future and be successful in the working world. This once seemed completely unachievable for me. Ironically, remote working is far easier for me and makes me more productive.  It takes out the pain and exhaustion of the journey to the office.

I would be lying if I said the last 17 weeks has been easy for me, but every step of the way BuDS has supported me and kept me going. Continually encouraging me to make progress towards achieving my goals, and tirelessly supporting me through the challenges that my disability brings.

We have laughed at the times fatigue hits me and I cease to function, forget words, forget what I am doing or at the times that my coordination completely goes and I have no control of the mouse.

The BuDS team have learned to recognise these times, and they patiently work round it, for that I am truly grateful; it must drive them mad sometimes, as I know it does me.

All this progress could so easily have been scuppered by coronavirus, but as I gain experience and grow in confidence, we are determined not to let my progress stall.

I have found nothing more rewarding or fulfilling than being able to help people and make an impact during the Pandemic.  My family has been shielding, we are reliant on others for food and medical deliveries. I do not think I could have asked for the extra support I needed from society if I was not giving something back myself.

As difficult as lockdown has been, I hope that an increase in remote working and a more flexible approach to job roles will continue. This combined with the right support opens the possibility of employment for many disabled people.

Get In Touch

If you are interested in joining BuDS or the Reach4Work project please get in touch. Just say the type of work you are interested in and tell us a little about yourself.

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Email info@buds.org.uk if we don't reply within a few days.

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