Volunteers Week – Ieaun’s Story – Why I Volunteer

Ieuan is the Chair of our Trustees. He also volunteers with the bereavement support groups, attends events and is sometimes asked to be a taxi driver! We asked him, as one of our wonderful and very active volunteers, why he gives his time to Sandy Bear.

Ieuan began volunteering with Sandy Bear about 3 years ago. His family had previously been service users and he has “always thought of Sandy Bear with affection”. He retired from the police force in 2020 and began to think ‘What next? What do I want to do with the spare time I have available?’.

He has recently taken on the role of Chair of our Trustee Board, which allows him to use his experience of strategy and policy. Ieuan shared that “working with Sandy Bear means I keep my skills fresh. I have learnt how finding funding for charities is always a challenge, and I have learnt more about third sector organisations.”

Ieuan also supports within the adult bereavement support group sessions. Ieuan said, “I love watching what a tangible difference the support makes to the whole family. The feedback is always phenomenal and I have a real sense of pride in seeing what a difference the charity makes. Although you see families who are struggling with their grief, you also get to share experiences and there is always more laughter than there is sadness.” He is occasionally asked to help drive disadvantaged families to sessions and he has a new starring role as the “iconic Sandy Bear” at our Family Fun Day. He also enjoys being asked to go with his partner to community fundraisers, including quiz nights. “We always do ok at the quizzes, mainly because of her fantastic general knowledge. It’s also lovely to talk to people about the great achievements of Sandy Bear, to explain to people how volunteering gives you a lot, from social benefits, to giving back to your community and knowing that the work you are doing is really worthwhile.”