Volunteers Week – A volunteers story
Along with showcasing some of our charity and voluntary organisations that provide opportunities to volunteers, the main purpose of volunteers week is to highlight the stories and background of the amazing individuals who give their time to volunteer in their community and make a difference. At Tempo we are proud to support these individuals and recognise the huge contribution they make, and by offering volunteers Tempo Time Credits we are showing our full support to each person that volunteers.
We are delighted to be able to feature a story from an amazing individual and learn about his volunteer journey and how volunteering has helped him in his life.
Dusty Thomas, Lancaster
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I was born in Shipley and have lived all over the place, including Lancaster. I served in the army and was homeless for several months, and then came back to Lancaster 15 years ago to be near my mum. I had problems with my mental health (PTSD and depression), so I started to get help from different local groups and from Combat Stress. I set up a local mental health support group in 2008 called Peer Support, and I have also volunteered for N-Compass (a former Tempo Time Credits partner).
I got involved in the Poverty Truth Commission through my local church, and I realised that because I have lived experience of poverty, addiction and homelessness I could become one of the Community Commissioners and help with planning services for people locally.
How do you earn Tempo Time Credits?
I started earning Tempo Time Credits as a community commissioner with the Poverty Truth Commission, and as a member of both the service user groups and the Citizens Involvement Board with N-Compass. I am now going to earn them through a new homelessness befrienders group called Let’s Be Friends.
How do you use your Tempo Time Credits?
I used to use them when my grandchildren came to visit and I could take them to the Blackpool attractions including the Sea Life Centre, Blackpool Dungeons etc. I also used to gift them to families so that they could use them on trips. Although I am registered disabled and have mobility problems, I was able to use them to go swimming at Salt Ayr Leisure Centre.
A message from Dusty
It was really nice to be able to do things with my grandchildren that I previously couldn’t afford to do, and also to be able to share it with others who couldn’t afford to do activities with their families.
Having been a beneficiary of Tempo Time Credits, it’s a wonderful way to reward people and helps them to feel valued and recognised for their lived experience.
Want to know more?
Get in touch here with any questions, and to learn more about earning or offering Tempo Time Credits.