Hi, my name is Holly Johnston, I am 19 years old and I am a Volunteer Befriender. I am volunteering with Shining On, within the Shine organisation.
I have been volunteering with Shining On since the beginning of April, as part of my Criminology course at Edinburgh Napier University, where I had to complete 20 hours of volunteering.
I decided to volunteer with Shining On because, as well as it being a part of what I am studying, I want to go further with this role in the future potentially within Shining On, or another charity that does the same type of work, as taking part in this volunteering opportunity has allowed me to know that it is something that I enjoy doing and would want to continue doing in the future.
I have really enjoyed getting to know the mentees during my volunteering, and listening to their personal stories. I feel like I have benefited in growing confident within myself, and knowing that I am capable of being a friend to someone that needs one the most.
Before my time at volunteering, I would find it difficult to approach individuals first and start conversations, even before my first visit on my own I was nervous about starting conversations in case I was unsure about what to say or should say, however volunteering for Shining On has really helped me to overcome this and benefited me in this way, allowing me to help women that are involved with Shining On the best that I can.
I would definitely recommend volunteering with Shining On. I would say, especially to those who want to make a difference to those that are, or have been involved within criminal justice and their lives, that it is a great opportunity and can really help others in entering back to society from the criminal justice system.
I am really looking forward with continuing to work with Shining On, and everyone that is involved!