Emily is 22 years old and works for Liverpool Students’ Union – the students union for Liverpool John Moores University. Although Emily was born and grew up in Oldham, she now lives in Chester with her partner and currently volunteers in Oldham as a ROC Restore Facilitator having completed her Restorative Justice training at our HQ – The FUSE earlier this year.
Emily talks about her love of working as a facilitator and in particular, how she enjoyed taking a case to conference that was our very first Tenant Self-Referral from First Choice Homes in Oldham –
“Through ROC Restore I have completed cases referred from local police, housing associations, and recently tenant self-referrals. Not only have we been able to improve the lives of those who have been referred to us, but the presence of tenant self-referrals really shows that restorative practice is being instilled within Oldham’s community. Completing cases where individuals have referred themselves has been a highlight for me, as it is clear that residents of Oldham want to work towards constructive resolutions to their conflicts, and that Oldham is on a positive track. Being part of ROC makes me feel as though I can contribute to change in Oldham.”
“Being part of ROC makes me feel like I can contribute to change in Oldham”
Emily began volunteering for ROC Restore when she heard about the impact it can have not just on individuals, but also for communities. Having completed her Undergraduate degree in International Development, she has a passion for working with communities. Volunteering as a Restorative Justice Facilitator has helped Emily to make a difference in a community that she knows well.
“As well as contributing to the local community and lives of others, volunteering for ROC has really developed my confidence and problem solving skills, which has been useful in other parts of my life. The training and casework that I have carried out through ROC has truly developed me as a person, and the variety of cases received in Oldham means that every day as a volunteer is interesting and challenging, which is something I particularly enjoy within the role.”
But is not all work, work, work; volunteering can be rewarding in other ways. In Oldham we have a very social group of facilitators and as part of our ongoing training, we regularly meet up to discuss referrals and issues that have arisen, but we also get to enjoy a chat over a biscuit and a brew!
“I really enjoy working within the Oldham team. The volunteers and staff are a lovely bunch, always happy to help share their expertise and support their fellow volunteers.”
This support is really important as sometimes we do have to work with challenging issues, but the rewards are that you know that you have given people a voice and enabled them to be heard. You have the skills and the opportunity to change aspects of people’s lives for the better, and to help them move forward in a positive way. This is important to all of our volunteers in Oldham, and elsewhere.
We want to express a huge thank you to Emily and all of our hard working volunteers that work tirelessly towards helping our communities become safer, kinder places to live!