Alice's story

Since joining RISE as a Helpline volunteer in November 2021, Alice has worked across various teams in RISE, and currently works as our Older and Disabled Women's Caseworker in our Communities Rising team.

Read more about her journey from volunteer to caseworker below:

What drew you to work in the third sector, specifically VAWG?

I co-founded a safeguarding organisation in 2019 which gave me a direct insight into the lack of resources and funding for people's basic right to safety. Improving this on any level is a long and arduous process which I continue to campaign for. But in the meantime, I was in a fortunate position to give my time as an extra resource to help upkeep a vital sector. Now I can’t really imagine myself doing anything else.

When did you join RISE and what was the process, did you find it hard?

I joined RISE as a volunteer in November 2021. The helpline was looking for advisors so I sent in a short application and was offered an interview soon after. The process was simple and a lot of importance was placed on my wellbeing and self-care rather than my direct skills or experience, which made me feel really supported and empowered through the interview and induction process.

What were some of the things you were asked to do in your role, which were your favourite parts, and what have you taken away from your experience as a volunteer?

The helpline role is varied and you’re never quite sure what you might be doing that day, which I love! Something I really enjoyed was the encouragement to find my own voice and style of working in difficult situations. Connecting with people at a pivotal stage of their life is a real privilege, and their strength and stories will always stick with me.

Can you describe what skills you have gained from volunteering, and what these have brought to your professional and personal life? Are you able to find balance whilst volunteering?

As a helpline volunteer you hold a lot of responsibility; so self-advocacy and being able to communicate boundaries within a professional setting are really important. This is a key skill that I’ve developed and carried through to other areas of my work and personal life in order to balance my own needs with effectively holding other people’s trauma and experiences.

What’s next for you?

I now work as the Outreach Community Worker in the Communities Rising team. My role is to create partnerships around Brighton & Hove to improve the Domestic Abuse support and recovery offers for Older and Disabled women, with a focus on community and empowerment. Next up for me is to continue advocating for the improvement of access to services for women and LGBTQ+ people.