Capturing an older person’s memories, Kitti talks about her volunteering experience

Kitti is a second year Criminology student studying at the University of South Wales. Kitti is from Hungary originally and has spent the last couple of months working with a client & trying out different parts of the project. Find out what she has to say about her experience!

Working as a volunteer for the Attic Project was a really great experience for me. I am usually very shy and wary around people, I don’t always feel very confident and I wanted to work on it.

In my second year of University we had a choice of optional modules and I chose professional practice, because I did not have enough work experience and I needed to gain certain skills for my prospective career path.

I loved the training I received. I learnt a lot about active listening and how reminiscing works. I particularly liked the idea of making a memory box where you could pick out different pictures, candles or other possession that would remind you of a time in your life for example Christmas holidays.

I only had the opportunity to work with one client, but it was still a wholesome experience. I was nervous before and throughout the first meeting but when I started the one on one meetings, I became more confident, and it helped that the client was friendly, talkative and he was easy to talk to.

My favourite moments were when I found old photos belonging to him of his childhood and of his family and when he found his marriage certificate.  I remember the way his eyes just lit up and the biggest smile he gave me, I enjoyed every moment of my work with him. The stories I heard were interesting and I have found myself wanting to find out more about him, his many adventures and special moments in his life. I also got the chance to do a reminiscence interview with the client and afterwards I got to help edit it.

I got a lot back from this job. Not just the transferable skills that will help me further my career in the but also a wonderful experience. If someone is considering applying to the Attic Project as a volunteer, I think it would not only be beneficial for them, but you are also giving something back to the community. If you find the volunteer job description fascinating for any reason, whether that be a passion for people and their stories, decluttering or just even wanting to learn more – do it! You will love it! Trust your instincts and the training and nothing can go wrong!