Chris Blackabee – Giving back through volunteering
Today we are meeting with Chris Blackabee, one of the newest volunteers at RNC. Chris is no stranger to the College, having both been a student and a member of staff before taking on his most recent role as a volunteer
Chris started as a student on a sport and recreational course in January 2015, due to his love of health and fitness. Upon completion of his course he became a qualified fitness instructor. Later that year an opportunity opened up for transitional employment post working at thePoint4. Chris jumped at the chance, soon becoming an integral part of the team, attending events, engaging with current members and helping to recruit new ones.
Upon completion of his placement in 2016 he applied for a vacant fundraising post at RNC and was once again successful, working with the team until April of this year. After leaving his post to focus on his triathlon training he has returned to volunteer for RNC.
So why did you choose to volunteer?
‘I wanted to give back, I’ve had some tremendous support over the years, especially from the RNC. I want to inspire others to achieve their goals.
I was born visually impaired with a small amount of sight, then in my teens I lost all of my sight. It was a slow transition which gave me time to cope, some people aren’t that fortunate. I want to inspire others to achieve their goals no matter what their condition.’
‘Why RNC specifically? Fairly simply, it changes lives, in an amazingly positive way. I chose to support RNC because I truly believe in in the work they do, I see the difference in people, from the moment that they come to the College to the day they leave.
‘Everyone is on their own pathway. They all have different conditions, but the understanding of the staff and support the students give each other is incredible. I feel as though I can empathise with the students, which helps my engagement with them. Often I have been through something similar and that enables me to help them succeed.’
How do you feel about your volunteer post?
‘I’m really looking forward to my new role, it’s a little bit of me. I’m really passionate about fitness and hoping to compete in a triathlon this year. thePoint4 is perfect for me and my training as the staff understand visual impairment and the equipment is top notch too. Because I use the facilities myself, I really enjoy recruiting new members, engaging with all types of people and reminding them that all profits from thePoint4 support RNC students.’
For more information about volunteer opportunities, or to make a donation and support the work the college does, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.