Alex – Ex volunteer

Alex (on the right) and friend riding in Hillsborough Park – Aug 2019
Alex (on the right) and friend riding in Hillsborough Park – Aug 2019

I was born in the Netherlands, moved to the UK aged 4 and grew up in Hertfordshire and moved to Sheffield for university, where I studied languages.  

I heard about Sheffield Cycling 4 All (SC4A) from a friend who was cycling there. 

I wanted to get work experience after university. I was doing lots of volunteering on different days of the week, and this was one of them. 

I tutored in Maths GCSE, was training in English as a second language, and volunteering in a Food waste shop. 

Started about aged 25 and volunteered a couple of years. I started helping putting trikes away then cycling with people. When Covid hit I did paperwork and admin for SC4A from home. 

I was supported in my roles at SC4A. I was given the chance to do a range of different tasks, from cycle maintenance, to setting up the base, supporting people to cycle and data entry. 

Formal training courses I did included Bike maintenance training and Dementia awareness training. 

It gave me confidence in getting a paid role in the same sector. 

I am now a support/project worker at Burton Street. [Burton Street Foundation is a Learning Disability Day service which has other services as well] 

I help to run various sessions for adults with physical and learning difficulties to boost their self-confidence and knowledge. 

Transferable skills from being a volunteer at SC4A include working with a variety of different people, adapting to them, having good communication skills, good hygiene practices skills, as well as running sessions as part of a team successfully, using my emotional intelligence and problem solving. 

Benefits from volunteering at SC4A have included Mental well-being and having a sense of purpose, the chance to have a routine as well as work experience and building confidence. 

I don’t currently cycle, the habit is gone, but I plan to. 

Please give other volunteers the chance I had.