Volunteering case study: Debbie McClelland

Posted: 2 June 2020 4:44 pm.

Volunteering gives Debbie the opportunity to change her career

Debbie McClelland had built a very successful career in publishing. After 20 years in the industry she realised she had achieved everything she wanted to and decided to consider a new challenge.

She started studying for a master’s degree in bride trafficking and modern slavery, which was something brand new to her.

During that time, her son’s friend became homeless and went to live with her family. It was then that she realised she’d like to do something to help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Debbie knew it was important to get some experience working with vulnerable people in order to progress in her new career, so she started volunteering with a homeless charity in Chorley.

This experience allowed her to get a job as an evening support worker at Stepping Stone Projects, where she offered support to people facing homelessness, and worked on various projects, cooking and baking with clients, and refurbishing donated bicycles.

Debbie said: “I was there to be kind. I was working with worthy human beings and helping them develop skills for moving on in their lives.”

She has worked for Stepping Stone Projects for seven years in various roles, and is now an operations manager.

She added: “Starting a second career in my 40s wasn’t easy. It was volunteering which gave me the initial experience that I needed to start off with, and I’m really grateful for that opportunity.

“I’ve met so many fascinating people. I really love working here, I never want to work anywhere else.”

Volunteers are vital for Stepping Stone Projects. They enable us to provide a wide range of services and there are lots of ways to get involved.

To find out more, please click here.

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