I’ve been a helpline volunteer with the British Tinnitus Association since May 2016, when I was matched with the charity by Voluntary Action Sheffield. Like many people, I lacked knowledge of tinnitus other than from experiencing temporary ringing in the ears after going to see live rock bands in my youth. As unpleasant as this was, it soon went away - I soon became aware that this wasn’t the case for people living with debilitating and ongoing tinnitus.

After training in the office - an overview of tinnitus and sitting with BTA team members answering calls - I went onto the helpline and have continued to volunteer in the office twice a week, with some periods outside the office attending training days and supporting the team at BTA events and the Annual Conference.

I always feel able to ask questions whenever I am stumped by a call and now also respond to queries sent to us via email, which involves research, drafting and corresponding with diverse enquiries from all over the UK, Europe and beyond - sadly it does seem that people with tinnitus can lack support no matter where they are.

My volunteering with the BTA has been a totally positive experience and has given me more confidence and direction in changing my career path. Since joining, I’ve improved my telephone skills, been nominated for a national award and found an office where my love of all things Star Wars is welcomed with open arms.

I would recommend volunteering with the British Tinnitus Association to anybody - the experience you get and satisfaction you can derive from helping people is profound.

Get involved!

If you would like to join Patrick and help the BTA as a volunteer, you can find more details here