I have a rather specific volunteer role at St Petrocs: as a registered podiatrist I’ve had a lot of experience of working with people experiencing homelessness, and since 2016 have provided a monthly foot clinic at the Truro Resource Centre.  People experiencing street homelessness are very dependent on their feet and suffer from a wide range of severe foot problems, but can’t usually access any podiatry care; by volunteering at St Petrocs I’m able to deliver this service in the most accessible way. 

As a clinician, the satisfaction of being able to help people is what makes work rewarding and enjoyable. Seeing people limp in in pain and walk out in comfort is immensely satisfying. This is all the more so knowing that there’s nowhere else they could get this care, and how great their wider needs are.

It’s a true cliché that you get back more than you put in: knowing that you’ve been able to help someone is its own reward, something which is true whatever role you’re volunteering for.

I enjoy spending time talking to the guests at the resource centre, hearing their stories and learning about the issues that affect their lives and have led them there. A lot of people are anxious about having their feet treated and having to ask for help, so it’s important to take time to make them feel comfortable, gain their trust and establish a rapport with them. The most seemingly intimidating people can be the most worried that treatment might be painful – and the most grateful when they’ve plucked up the courage to let me do their feet! All of this is part of the rich experience of volunteering at St Petrocs.

As well as meeting the clients, I’m part of a great team of like-minded people; I’ve made friends and been lucky to work with them towards the common goal of giving people a helping hand when they really need one.