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Jobs from the Reach files - 26

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In this regular series Olive Braman tells how volunteers can use their skills and expertise through REACH, the charity that places professional and business people in part time voluntary jobs

You can find all the Jobs From the REACH Files articles from the Volunteering Index

Debola`s win win situation

Debola Ige, from Beckenham, is not in the 50-plus range but she is a wonderful example when it comes to volunteering. Debola has a part-time job and is studying for her masters degree in computing but still makes time to do voluntary work for the locally-based charity Allergy UK. This offers support and information to the 45 per cent of the population who suffer from allergies as well providing education in allergy for health care professionals.

Debola says,  “ Being a volunteer is a useful way of gaining experience and, although this sounds a bit of a cliché, it is also a way of putting something back into the community. I have learned so much about allergies which I never knew before and I have learned about IT support and picked up negotiating skills which will be useful in my career.”

Debola was born in England but spent much of her childhood in Nigeria. She returned to this country 10 years ago after gaining her Bachelor of Education degree and become a qualified Microsoft systems engineer in 2001.

Her part-time job is Senior Customer Services Representative for HSBC. She found her voluntary work through the charity REACH when Allergy UK was looking for a volunteer to assess their computer networking and database.

Peter Simmons from Allergy UK says, “Debola was given the  project and has played an important  part in helping our charity find its IT feet. She has worked for us one day a week but is more than happy to be called out if necessary. 

Debola has found the work with Allergy UK so valuable and interesting that she intends to take on more projects.  “All the people there are so nice and supportive and it has helped me to keep my skills up to date. It’s been a win win situation all round.”

The REACH placement service is available free throughout the UK free of charge to both volunteers and voluntary organisations needing their expertise. There are no age limits.

The helpline number for Allergy UK  is 020 8303 8583 

For further information about REACH please telephone local area manager Colin Brennan 01892 784528 or REACH HQ on 020 7582 6543 website:   

For information about Allergy UK telephone Peter Simmons on 020 8303 8525, website   

For further information about REACH please telephone 020 7582 6543 website


Look out for future features from Olive Braman on Jobs From The REACH Files or view all the REACH Files Articles from our Volunteering Index

laterlife interest

The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

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