Volunteer Case Studies

"Volunteering at Project FIND through Winant Clayton was one of the best experiences of my life. The Project works with homeless and moderate-low income senior citizens, providing residences, senior centers, activities and social work support. I was lucky enough to work with some truly wonderful people who will be lifelong friends, and meet some inspiring and engaging characters along the way. The programme is long enough that you can really get your teeth into the project you're working at, and also to really immerse yourself in New York City. It truly was a once in a lifetime experience that I'll never forget."

  • Paul Carter, UK "Clayton" Volunteer with Project Find in New York, 2014

"I was slightly nervous about my first day with Search and Care because it really doesn’t matter how much previous experience you may have, walking in to a new environment is always slightly scary. I really didn’t need to worry because upon arrival I was met with the warmest smiles and hugs by the Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator, Robin, who then introduced me to the other members of the team as well as other new volunteers.

I just had the most wonderful experience with Search and Care. All of the staff and volunteers are fantastic and it is a real pleasure and privilege to be working with them. My client list is full of colourful characters who have accomplished so much in their lives. They are a true inspiration! I only hope that I can achieve a small portion of what they have by the time I reach their age.

I have also had a great time getting to know the city and doing so many things that I have not done before, which I am really pleased. What is great about New York is that there are always places to visit and events, whatever your taste or budget may be. The summer brings music, art and movies to the parks and various venues of NYC, many of them completely free.

I have had a complete and utter blast and I would really like to thank everyone for making my experience very special!"

  • Ingrid Giovino, UK "Clayton" Volunteer with Search and Care in New York, 2014

"I really enjoyed the atmosphere at St. Hilda’s as they were very welcoming to volunteers and they really helped integrate me as a part of the team. I also liked having the opportunity to help out on different programs during the week and meeting with other volunteers, staff, and program users. The program users were great to interact with and really helped me adjust to the placement and to London.

There was very good supervision in the day to day operations of the Placement. I was always working with a more senior staff member, so I never felt uncomfortable or like I had to deal with a problem alone.

I feel that I learned a lot about my ability to work within different situations, as well as conduct myself in different countries. While there was supervision a lot of it was very self-directed, which I feel helped me grow as a person and learnt to work and live independently and become more responsible. I think Winant Clayton Volunteers is still very useful in fostering inter-cultural understanding and at giving people in the US a chance to directly contribute to, as well as observe, British culture through interacting with program users at different Placements."

  • Franny Solnick, American "Winant" volunteer with St. Hilda's East Community Centre in London, 2014

"For 10 weeks over the summer of 2014 I had the fantastic opportunity to volunteer as a Communications Assistant with Project FIND in New York. Project FIND provide low income and homeless seniors with support and services they need to live independently and enrich their lives. I worked across the various centres assisting with mealtimes and activities, allowing me to build great trust and relationships with the seniors, which in turn gave me varied and interesting content for the website. An incredibly positive experience."

  • Laura Richardson, UK "Clayton" volunteer with Project FIND in NYC, 2014

"My placement has got to have been one of the best experiences of my life. I was at St Bartholomew's Church in Midtown Manhattan, working in the Community Ministry part of the Church. From day one I was made to feel at home and was welcomed.

During my time at St Bart's, I was involved in all of the programmes that it runs within the Community Ministry. I have to say that being there was a unique opportunity to learn so much about homelessness in New York and how things differ. We could serve food to anywhere between 80 to 180 people just for breakfast. Twice a week I worked in the Food Pantry there which gave food out to people who were on low income, benefits , were disabled, had HIV or were homeless but within a shelter.

I felt such a huge sense of community that really got into my heart. Every day was different and I always looked forward to going into work. I have made life-long friends by doing this and I am now deciding to take a different career path. Being given this insight into working with the homeless through my placement I now realise that that is the area I want to go in, so I can't thank Winant Clayton enough. This is such a unique charity. It offers people of all ages this chance to change their lives. I am forty one and I had looked into other voluntary work overseas before but sometimes there was an age restriction on them. That’s why I think Winant Clayton Volunteers can appeal to absolutely anyone. We were so well supported on the USA and the UK side the whole time, everyone who belongs within Winant Clayton is passionate about it. I feel so strongly about what a fantastic charity this is that I will continue to be involved. It has been truly a life changing, eye opening and happy time in my life and one of the best decisions I have ever made. So, thank you Winant Clayton Volunteers!"

  • Kathy Bollard, British "Clayton" volunteer at St. Barts in New York, 2009

"When I signed up to volunteer in a different country I didn't really know what I was getting into. I knew I wanted to do something good for others, I knew I wanted to make a difference in the world somehow but I wasn't sure how I could possibly leave my marks in only a few weeks.

At Providence Row I was the intern for the Meaningful Occupations Director who was in charge of bringing in courses and activities to help promote job training and life skills and to also foster self esteem with the clients who participated. Throughout the summer, it became clear that my people skills were really working to help promote the groups. I was enjoying everyday just talking to the clients and finding out about them. I listened and then figured out what activity a person would enjoy and might actually attend. I helped some with finding a job, some I helped get into an activity group and some I just listened to when they needed someone to talk to. During the time I was there, the Satellite Centre was just opened. At the beginning, there were only about 3 people a day who would attend. By the end of my placement, it was up to 20 -25 attending for various classes and free time, so I would like to think my work benefited many.

When I came back from my summer in London, I was a new person. If I could volunteer every day I would. That’s how good it was and how much I know it’s necessary for those you’re helping and also for yourself!"

  • Jessica Ellis, American "Winant" volunteer at Providence Row in London, 2009