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Meet our volunteers

At Brook, we're truly grateful to our dedicated volunteers who enhance our work. In this section you can meet our volunteers and hear from them about all about the amazing things they do at Brook and how volunteering benefits them! 

"Brook volunteers are essential for keeping our work relevant for young people." - Hannah Panes, Participation and Volunteering Coordinator 


Alex - Brook Champion (Digital Focus)

Name

Alex Cheney 

Role title

Brook Champion (Digital Focus)

When did you start volunteering for Brook?

January 2015

What do you do?

I am currently a Digital and Fundraising Champion for Brook. My roles have included, helping Brook to create a survey for its clinics to make sure that we as a young people’s sexual health charity are reaching all sections of society and in particular the most vulnerable. I have participated in an interview and photo shoot on Relationships and Sex Education for the International Planned Parenthood Federation. During the Government’s recent open consultation on changes to PSHE and Relationships and Sex Education, I worked with Brook and the Family Planning Association to help create our call for evidence response on what as a charity we would like to see included in the curriculum.

As well as this I have had other volunteering roles and have been a Mystery Shopper for Brook in London looking into the C-Card Scheme and how it is implemented by going into pharmacies and sexual health clinics etc, registering myself up for the scheme, going into collect free condoms and feeding back my experience on how discrete, private and professionally I was treated and how Brook, who provides some of the training can help to make the scheme better and more accessible. I have also recently helped on the Brook ‘Have Your Say’ Campaign on writing a blog post for the website for mental health awareness week.

What do you enjoy most about your role? 

Gaining knowledge, building my skill sets, meeting people with shared interests and passions and helping Brook in anyway I can as it is a charity and as a sector in sexual health and young people's wellbeing that is very close to my heart.

What impact has volunteering had for you? 

Being a Brook Champion has helped me massively in challenging and facing my anxiety and other mental health issues that I face. From attending the residential weekend where I was able to face my fears of working in groups, social situations and eating in public to working on the photo shoot and interview on RSE for IPPF which helped massively challenge the low self esteem and body image fears that I suffer from. As mentioned above it has also helped me gain knowledge and skills in sexual health as well as working in a team and keeping to deadlines this was extremely useful to be able to give examples of in my first ever job interview that I had this week. 

Anything else you want to share with us about volunteering with Brook?

Thank you for all the work that Brook and Volunteer co-coordinators do! It makes me so proud to volunteer for a charity that does so much good! 


Thank you Alex for everything you have done to support young people, and Brook!

Eleanor- Brook Champion (Digital Focus)

Name

Eleanor Pearson

Role title

Brook Champion (Digital Focus)

When did you start volunteering for Brook?

October 2017

What do you do?

At Brook, my role mostly involves working with the rest of the Digital Champions to help Brook provide information on sexual health in a way that appeals to young people: often through commenting on Brook's digital design and branding. We also help to support Brook's Communications Team by promoting the charity's work on social media and by representing Brook at public events. 

What do you enjoy most about your role? 

Arguably one of the best things about being a Brook Champion is the team aspect of it. Being able to get to know a lot of people of a similar age who are all just as passionate about sexual health as I am has been a really fun experience. We're nearly always signposting each other to different events and campaigns that are happening at the moment and it's a great way to engage more with sexual health. Personally, I have learned a lot about different issues surrounding young people and sexual health thanks to the other volunteers!
It is also, of course, so rewarding to be working with such a great team to support a charity that we all love!

What impact has volunteering had for you? 

For me, volunteering with Brook has had a hugely positive impact on my employability. The experience I now have as a result of volunteering looks really impressive on my CV and the fact that I gained it all from a widely recognised charity has definitely gone a long way in helping me to secure other roles in other organisations.


Thank you Eleanor for everything you have done to support young people, and Brook!

Glen- Brook Champion (Clinical Focus)

Name

Glen Wiseman

Role title

Brook Champion (Clinical Focus)

When did you start volunteering for Brook?

November 2017 

What do you do?

I give feedback and suggestions to help improve how Brook works and engages its users by drawing on my experience as a professional in the field of sexual health for young people.

What do you enjoy most about your role? 

Knowing that I can help Brook in any way possible do the amazing work that you do fills me with pride. I feel part of the Brook family even though my contribution is modest.

What impact has volunteering had for you? 

It has allowed me to network within the sexual health world and represent Brook as well as provide evidence of work in interviews and job applications.

Anything else you want to share with us about volunteering with Brook?

I love being able to say that I am a Brook Champion and I am privileged to have met and worked with some lovely people from Brook, volunteers as well as staff.


Thank you Glen for everything you have done to support young people, and Brook!

Krissie - Brand and Design volunteer

Name
Krissie Papworth-Sommers

Role title

Brand and Design Volunteer

When did you start volunteering for Brook?

July 2017

What do you do?

I volunteered in the communications team of Brook for nearly a year, in the head office in Old Street. I did about 5 hours every Friday, alongside my studies for my final year of university.

In early 2017, Brook had a major rebrand; everything used to be blue, with a different logo, different fonts and so on. My supervisor was working hard to make sure everything public-facing was rebranded properly, and I was recruited to update internal documents. My role was scheduled to last the summer (one day a week). I used a desk in the office that was usually free on a Friday, and had a computer folder full of bits and pieces to make use of (templates, logos, photos, brand guidelines etc.).

I was learning a lot, and really enjoying my time at Brook, so by the end of summer my supervisor and I decided to keep me around. They’re a really busy team, so there’s always bits and bobs to help out with. I ended up doing lots of different things. I designed a lot of PowerPoints and posters that have gone up in clinics. I updated a spreadsheet full of the details for all of Brook’s clinics, and drafted lots of social media posts. I also helped out with a few things for Sex Appeal – Brook’s annual comedy fundraiser. I even got to represent Brook at a young people’s participation day at Public Health England (PHE).

What do you enjoy most about your role?

It was really nice to be doing something outside of my studies. The work I did at Brook was contained – I didn’t need to think about it at home or during the day, and I felt like I was achieving things while I was there, while working for a good cause. The comms team is really lovely, so I always felt at home while at Brook.

What impact has volunteering had for you?

The position has been really useful to me. Before joining Brook I didn’t know anything about how a charity operates, what a communications team does, and all the different things Brook is involved with. I learnt how to make things look really professional, which has already proved useful in my university work and in job applications, and I got to develop my creativity and my confidence in being creative. It also opened up new opportunities for me – I got some work experience by attending the PHE day, for example.
My volunteering position has proved especially useful in job applications. My experience shows that I’m motivated, responsible, independent and creative. It shows that I can juggle different commitments and work in different teams. It also demonstrates that I’m passionate about sexual health, and I’ve even used a report I wrote and designed for Brook as an example of my work in an application. My supervisor has also been my reference for numerous things, and has given me loads of help and advice in my applications. Finally, I was awarded Volunteer of the Month in September 2017, which proudly features in the achievements section of my CV.

Any other comments?

If you’re considering volunteering with Brook, I encourage you to go for it. It’s such a rewarding experience. You’ll get to meet awesome people, build your skills and gain lots of useful experience. You can even claim expenses for travel and sometimes lunch, so it won’t cost you anything to volunteer. Just get in contact with our Volunteering & Participation team if you have any questions.

 

Thank you Krissie for everything you have done to support young people, and Brook!

Louise- Brook Champion (Digital Focus)

Name

Louise Jones 

Role title

Brook Champion (Digital Focus)

When did you start volunteering for Brook?

November 2017 

What do you do?

I mostly support Brook with their digital work, providing feedback on various ideas and resources and championing Brook on social media. I’ve also taken part in interviews and photoshoots, and attend events where I can. This role is predominately home-based which is perfect as a full-time worker! As young people seek the majority of their education and communication digitally, the impact my role can have is huge. I want to ensure that Brook’s reach continues to extend and that their resources are true, accessible and engaging... and empowering!

What do you enjoy most about your role? 

I love interacting with the other Brook volunteers. We’re such a passionate bunch with various sets of skills and personalities, which makes the work so interesting, motivating and empowering. It’s also fascinating working with Brook and seeing what goes on behind the scenes. 

What impact has volunteering had for you? 

Volunteering with Brook has given me a passion and purpose outside of working life, which has been really refreshing after being so focused and anxious about having a career. It’s put things into perspective and allowed me to live a more wholesome life. Meeting new people without the comfort of family and friends around me, and having my own views expanded and challenged, has been so important, too. After going through some pretty rough experiences with sex and relationships myself as a teenager/young adult, it’s been so empowering and therapeutic to throw myself into this work to ensure others are as well educated and well supported as possible. 

Anything else you want to share with us about volunteering with Brook?

Brook is one of the only charities I know who really acknowledges and interacts their young audience. It’s been such a progressive experience being a Brook Champion, and I feel really respected and valued. They really work FOR young people WITH young people, and will continue to drive change and improve as a charity because of that. It’s a really empowering place to volunteer.

 

Thank you Louise for everything you have done to support young people, and Brook!

Rachel- Brook Champion (Education Focus)

Name

Rachel Scales 

Role title

Brook Champion (Education Focus)

When did you start volunteering for Brook?

November 2017 

What do you do?

Along with the other Education Champions I review resources that Brook uses for educational training purposes. This can be training for professionals or for children and young adults. As well as impacting the way education is shaped within Brook's services I also get the opportunity to add my opinion to how RSE should be shaped in schools.

What do you enjoy most about your role? 

I love the fact that my voice and opinion is considered in education matters because I feel I am really making a difference to how sex and relationship education is taught and delivered in the UK. For this reason being part of the round table discussion at the Department of Education as part of the 'Call for evidence' to improve RSE was probably my favourite event I have attended as a Brook Champion!

What impact has volunteering had for you? 

The wonderful people that are also Brook Champions I have met have definitely made an inpact on me! It's fantastic to meet like minded people who are so passionate about sexual health/ sex education. The Champion community is so supportive and I have learned so much through talking to other champions about other events and ways to get involved with topics to do with sex education and sexual health.

Anything else you want to share with us about volunteering with Brook?

Being a Brook Champion is fantastic!

 

Thank you Rachel for everything you have done to support young people, and Brook!


 

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