Dave Carr, oversees the British Tinnitus Association’s (BTA) volunteer programme. Here, as part of Tinnitus Awareness Week (6-12 February 2017), Dave highlights the specific volunteer roles available and how they can help people with tinnitus.

We’ve been working very hard over the last couple of years to really develop specialist roles for our volunteers so we know they are meeting the needs of the tinnitus community. It’s important that we provide support to people across the country of different ages and all with a different tinnitus story to tell and volunteers can play a really big part in this.

Virtual befrienders provide an ideal opportunity for people managing their tinnitus and wanting to help others. The role aims to reduce the isolation felt by people with tinnitus through the use of the telephone or internet.

We also need people who are comfortable with public speaking to go out and talk to community groups in their area about the impact tinnitus can have and the support the BTA provides. Attending promotional and events as a representative of the BTA is also welcome as is getting out in the community to put up leaflets and posters that promote our work.

Fundraising is an important element of the BTA so by volunteering you could be out working in a small team to collect donations and give out information leaflets. Finally, social media is playing an increasing part in everyday life and we want to be make sure we use this platform to raise the profile of the BTA’s work so we also want people who are whizz on Twitter and Facebook to get involved!

We are very flexible and we try and work with our volunteers to fit around their availability. Training is provided and expenses paid but because we are looking for certain skills within these roles, there is a formal application process to follow. You can find out more about this here.

Our volunteers often tell us how much they gain from being involved in our work. They may have tinnitus but now feel strong enough to support others going through a similar thing, they may have a close family member who has the condition and they feel they want to do more to help or it could be someone who really wants to expand their skill set and add some worthwhile experience to their CV.

Whatever the reason, we would love to hear from anyone who thinks they may be able to provide what we’re looking for. We’re a great team who all have one key goal in mind – to help improve the lives of people living with tinnitus.”

Tinnitus Awareness Week runs from 6-12 February 2017 aiming to get the nation talking about tinnitus and highlight the stories of those living with it. For more information please keep visiting our site.