If you're unsure about the kind of volunteering opportunity you'd like to be involved in, perhaps these real life stories of people's volunteering experiences will give you an idea.

A small chance for Luis Young is going to create a big opportunity. Luis Young left school without all the qualifications needed to progress into further education college. Luis then tried to reapply for 6th from college but found he was struggling to complete all the qualifications he needed.

Luis, who is a fluent welsh speaker, then became a volunteer with Creating Chances. With the completion of his volunteering hours and his level 2 NVQ in activity leadership, which is equivalent to 4 GCSE results, Luis will have all the qualifications needed to go to college and to study in the field he wants to.

Luis Young 'I started to volunteer with creating chances as I really enjoyed sports coaching and didn't know how to get the experience and qualifications I need to do this in the future. When I then couldn't complete my 6th form year to get the qualifications I need to go to college this Creating Chances is really going to make a difference because it's going to give me the level 2 qualification I need'.

Luis has made a great deal of progress with his coaching and session planning and has been a massive asset to our volunteering team. With a large event days planned for the community in the coming months this will give Luis a great opportunity to gather experience and to show his knowledge and confidence to not only himself but to others.

Jordan Roberts
Jordan is a Wales International and currently plays for Tranmere Rovers FC Ladies. Jordan Comes from a Deprived area of North Wales and was struggling to find a local opportunity to progress into Sports Coaching. Coaching is something that has been high on her list and she jumped at the chance when Creating Chances promoted their local MV Project.
Jordan who plays for Wales Women's Youth has always had a massive interest in Sport but at times found it hard to find any opportunities for young women in sport. Jordan who is very proud to be one of the few young women coaches in the area is progressing very well with her volunteering and qualifications.

In Partnership with Creating Chances Jordan is looking to the future with her sports coaching and would like to build on her volunteering in the local community over the next few years.

Jordan stated 'I've always been a fanatic Everton FC supporter and having someone like Robbie Anderson, who has worked with players like Wayne Rooney and coached at many Premier League Football Clubs has given me the inspiration to start my coaching journey with Creating Chances'

Tinashe - The Mentor RingTinashe Chendamudima
Tinashe Chendamudima explains how volunteering helped him through difficult times and is proud to be a volunteer.

I was referred to The Mentor Ring (TMR) by PMHSS( Primary Mental Health Support Scheme) after I'd been suffering from anxiety and panic attacks for quite some time.

Medication and Counselling had been referred to me and trialled previously but proved ineffective for me as an individual. I was so apprehensive to visit The Mentor Ring (TMR) but thought I will give it a go because at the time I was going through lot of stress and I didn't know how to express it or 'how to deal' with it. On my first visit to TMR offices I was very impressed by the work they do. So for myself, making the decision to carry on was made very easy.

I was assigned a dedicated mentor, who not only helped me with networking but helped see indirectly and unconditionally that anything was possible because her testimony was amazing just by listening to her talk about how she managed to turn her own life around, straight away I wanted what she had.

I wanted to study medicine and become a Neurologist, as 'unrealistic' as that sounded in my head at the time. TMR believed in me and immediately made me feel that they saw my potential, thus they gave me opportunities to get involved in different programmes to help me with confidence. One of those programmes was the annual MEC Health Fair and I was given a role as a volunteer. It was daunting at first because I had never done anything like it in the past and I was amazed at how well I was performing at the task in hand. This gave me lot of confidence, belief that this wasn't the end of me, belief that there was so much more still left in me.

I was constantly surrounded and motivated by mentors and role models who would visit TMR offices on a weekly basis. One person who stuck out for me was Sujatha Thaladi who came across as positive, enthusiastic, caring and treated everyone exactly the same, with care.

I didn't have GCSE's before my first encounter with TMR, now I do. I would never had thought about going to university in the past because the thought of the future scared me, now I am excited about my future every day. I am still in touch with TMR to do occasional volunteering. 'I came in as a referral, but now I am a volunteer'. I enjoy being part of an organisation that gives a lot to the community and especially someone like myself. I will continue my journey with a positive attitude. The Mentor Ring provide one-to-one support and guidance to people of all ages and backgrounds, helping you overcome significant barriers to social inclusion. We help individuals and communities tackle their personal challenges - whether it is in health & well-being, education, training, employment or settling in the UK. We provide specialist mentoring support and run a number of projects and training courses. If you'd like to find out more, please visit www.MentorRing.org.uk