This week we welcomed 14 new team Project Volunteers to BDP, who will be working alongside our Engagement Team in our Central Walk-In Centre, gaining front-line experience answering people’s questions and providing access into our services.


"They are a fantastic group – curious, open-minded, knowledgeable, friendly and keen. So we are very happy to be welcoming the new volunteers to BDP," says Sophie, one of our Volunteer Managers.

Our Central Walk-In Centre and Needle Exchange are direct access services, open six days a week, which means anyone can come in with any kind of drug-related problem. Working in our Needle Exchange, our volunteers will also be joining our long history of tackling the spread of blood-borne viruses by providing people with free access to clean injecting equipment.

The new volunteers received five weeks of full training as part of their induction. "It’s a huge team effort," explains Sophie. "The volunteers have said how useful and inspiring it was to meet people and learn from the expertise of people from all over the agency. We want to say a huge thank you to the staff and existing volunteers from across BDP who came in and ran a session or shared their experience with the new group."


We caught up with a couple of new volunteers after their first day to find out what they took from their training and ask them how their first day had been.

"I really enjoyed getting to know other volunteers and becoming a close team," reflected Lou. "I applied to volunteer because I wanted the chance to do what I can to help people in challenging situations. Since learning new skills, I've become more aware of how I interact and listen to people. If I can help an individual, even a small bit, then that is time well spent.

"The most memorable part of my first day volunteering was seeing first-hand the range of clients with varying needs that come in."

"I enjoyed the hands-on approach to the training - no two days were the same", said Sarah. "I am now much more confident. I have become really determined to a make a difference to people’s lives and am looking forward to learning from others and developing my own way of helping.

"If someone is interested in addiction, harm reduction and a service that really genuinely cares for its clients' and staff’s wellbeing and health then they have to apply to volunteer at BDP." – Sarah.

"Go for it!" agreed Lou.


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