Blog: “I love contributing my time towards volunteering”

Today is International Volunteer Day, which recognises the contributions of volunteers around the globe. The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) is celebrating this with a series of blogs from disabled volunteers in sport. In this blog, Gary Stephenson, a double above the knee amputee, explains how he enjoys helping other people.

Gary hand cycling racing at Silverstone circuit

I have been volunteering as a mentor and helper for LimbPower for an average of one day a month and I have been doing this for the past eight years.

I wanted to help other people enjoy activities and encourage them to take part in sport which is what interested me to try out volunteering in the first place. Eight years on and I still enjoy it, and I have met many inspirational and amazing people. 

One of the main things I enjoy about volunteering is that is has allowed me to help and encourage people find the sports and activities they enjoy. It has also helped me to keep fit and develop new and my existing skills.  

Volunteering as a mentor and helper gives me a great deal of satisfaction. I love taking part and contributing my time to volunteering - it’s had a huge effect on me and I’ve had a lot of support from LimbPower.

To disabled people wanting to try volunteering in sport I’d say what are you waiting for? Don’t be put off. Organisations like LimbPower provide training courses and guidance for volunteering. There are so many benefits to it, I’ve learnt a number of new skills and enjoyed taking part in a number of different sports and activities.

I really feel volunteering in sport can have a big impact on disabled people’s lives. I know many people who have had a positive life experience when participating at a LimbPower or Handcycle UK event. I’ve also seen people go on to conquer personal goals and achieve success in sport too - so why not just give it a go.