Why volunteer with SYHA?

Volunteering is something we’re really passionate about at South Yorkshire Housing Association. It’s our way of giving back something to our customers and the communities we work in. Over the past year our amazing volunteers have given over 6000 hours of their time, and we’d love it if you could join us too.

Whenever we talk about volunteering we often get asked ‘what’s in it for me?’, and it’s an important question to ask. Volunteering is as much about what you give as what you get back. Not only do you get the personal satisfaction of helping someone, you gain valuable experience that can help you build confidence, meet new people and even help you find a job.

Jamie Popplewell

Jamie says volunteering helped him achieve goals and ambitions

Last year Jamie started volunteering with our Performance and Central Services team as a Customer Liaison Assistant. As part of his role he would speak with customers on a daily basis, helping them solve problems and answer queries. He gained valuable experience of working in an office environment, being part of a team and how a business works. On top of that thanks to a personal development plan and one-to-one coaching he developed as an individual.

Thanks to his experience volunteering Jamie stood out amongst other candidates when he applied for a role in our Finance Team. He is now employed full time as a Finance Administration Officer and has never looked back.

Jamie said, “It was a really rewarding experience working as a volunteer for SYHA, which has ultimately led to me getting a job with the organisation. Before I started volunteering I was claiming Housing Benefit and Job Seekers Allowance. Thanks to the experience I gained volunteering I felt confident enough to apply for a job and I’m now supporting myself. I’d recommend to anyone who is struggling to find work, or has free time or their hands to just have a look what opportunities are out there – you never know where it may take you!”

If you’d like to find out more about the volunteering opportunities available at South Yorkshire Housing Association call 0114 2900 200, email volunteering@syha.co.uk or visit the volunteering section of our website.

My Volunteering Story

Maureen’s story…

Maureen Illedge is one of our events volunteers at our Whinn Dale scheme, which offers 24 hour care for older people. She told us this amazing tale about her volunteering experiences with us:

“Recently, we took a group of residents from the Whinn Dale scheme to St. Anne’s on Sea for a day trip. It was such a great day and everyone enjoyed themselves. 

“One of the residents told us that it was the first time he had been on an outing anywhere for the past five years, so to see him relaxed and smiling was a reward in itself.

“We’re already in the process of planning our next event which is a Strawberry Tea Party, as well as another trip out in September.

“Our reward is seeing people enjoying themselves and being in each other’s company, rather than sitting on their own and feeling lonely.”


tony-volunteerTony’s story…

Tony Blackbourn is another volunteer on the Ageing Better Core Partnership programme. He spoke to us about his experience volunteering with SYHA:

“I was always interested in being with and helping people. I’ve seen people retire and just vegetate. They’ve been active all their lives at work and then retire and that’s it. I didn’t want to do that.

“I feel Ageing Better is something that will do good and really help the citizens of Sheffield. You’ve got to keep active whilst your brain is still active – that’s what puts off old age, that’s what Ageing Better encourages.

“I’m happy with the volunteering that I do; I keep saying I’ll retire in two years – everyone says I won’t – I’ll be with Age Better for a while yet!”


alan-volunteerAlan’s story…

Alan Carter volunteers with us on the Ageing Better Core Partnership. You can find out more about Age Better check out the website or twitter page. Here is Alan’s experience volunteering:

“The project is different, innovative and definitely worthwhile! It can be exciting and is undoubtedly for a good cause. It keeps my interest and I fell genuinely involved.”

“I see how some older folk aren’t going out, they can lose motivation and think asking for help means losing independence. I think this needs changing, I’ve always been interested in trying to do things to help people and I’m only too pleased to volunteer my time.”

“You get to retirement and some people say, that’s it; I’m sitting in my armchair and watching TV now. But I don’t want to be like that. I prefer to use the knowledge and experience I’ve got for as long as I can. I get a lot of satisfaction from working in a volunteering capacity – I can use the skills I’ve got to continue to help.”


james-volunteerJames’s story…

James is our Treasury Accountant and Digital Inclusion Volunteer. He has volunteered at many of our digital events. Here is his experience of volunteering for us:

“Volunteering has made me feel like I have truly given something back to my community – even if you don’t feel like you have anything to offer, you always have your time to offer and that can make a huge difference to someone’s life.”

“Volunteering is as much about teaching a new skill as it is about spending time with someone and it’s humbling to realise how much impact this can have!”

“My volunteering experiences have been around helping an older person to use technology better and I’m happy to say that this person is now able to email and FaceTime their family halfway across the world.”


Our volunteers are busy throughout South Yorkshire and there are lots of projects to get involved with. So if you like the idea of being part of our team and volunteering with us, we’ll give you all the help and support you need, including the chance to shadow an existing team member before you start and the opportunity to take part in training.

Volunteering is a fun and rewarding way to gain experience of working with people and supporting their wellbeing, even if you don’t have any formal qualifications. All we ask of our volunteers is: enthusiasm for learning, lots of patience, and a caring and understanding nature.

Want to know more?

Contact Carl Hawkes our volunteers manager at volunteering@syha.co.uk