We invited Paul Simpson to write a blog about his experience of volunteering. He shares his thoughts below.
As an adult with Asperger’s syndrome one of the main obstacles I and many others face is that with high functioning conditions what we experience is often invisible leading to a lack of understanding concerning the challenges we sometimes face, however, how these conditions affect us vary from person to person.
Throughout my employment history more often than not my skills would be overshadowed by my condition, and this lead to me feeling like l wasn’t good enough and that I was the problem. No one should have to feel like that.
Since my last job, I’ve been volunteering for the past couple of years, I’m a designer and volunteer with digital marketing teams in charities to create a variety of visual and written marketing collateral, I also deliver talks to raise the understanding of autism.
I am grateful for each of the volunteering opportunities I am fortunate to have as not only have they shaped me into a more confident person and have helped me develop personally and professionally, they have also helped me to develop self-respect and be proud of who I am.
Instead of being labeled, my skills have been recognised, instead of being singled out my colleagues understand that my characteristics make me, me and make me feel comfortable being myself.
Volunteering has shown me the positive side of what employment has to offer, an inclusive and diverse place where people are recognised for their strengths and ability to do the job.