Alice Matharu, proud to be a digital volunteer for The Mix

Françoise Facella
Communications & Events Officer

Hi! I’m Alice, I’m 22 years old. I’m currently based in Birmingham where I’m studying for my master’s degree in Applied Meteorology (It’s not the study of meteors, but atmospheric science, also known as ‘the weather’). I’ve been volunteering with The Mix for over a year and a half now. I came across The Mix when I was searching for a long-term volunteering role.

“For me, the role needed to be something I felt was genuinely worth dedicating my time to. It also needed to fit around my busy student schedule and my movements between different cities. Being a volunteer for The Mix fulfilled all those requirements.”

I’m a chat moderator. My responsibility is to make sure the online chat room is a safe and welcoming environment for young people to share and engage with each other. Being a volunteer at The Mix has been very fulfilling. I’ve had first-hand experience of dealing with some very serious issues that I wouldn’t have come across otherwise. One of the best feelings is when you finish a chat session knowing you’ve genuinely made a difference to somebody who needed help.

I’ve learnt how to adapt the support I give to each person I chat with. Young people join the chat for a variety of reasons; some seek practical advice, some need empathy or emotional support, and some simply come to rant about something that’s upset them. Since I started volunteering with The Mix, I feel more confident talking to users. I’ve also used my new support skills with my friends and family.

“I have found my understanding of other people has dramatically increased since starting this role.”

I think we are all guilty of judging people too quickly some times. It’s so easy to react to a negative event by retaliating with something as equally unpleasant. When you are encouraged to take a step back and think about the reasons why somebody is in such a negative place, it can add clarity to daily situations and interactions that could turn nasty. I really think both volunteers and beneficiaries learn a lot about themselves and gain so much from the sessions.

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Published on 23-May-2017