As an Epilepsy Action Accredited Volunteer, Kenny Borland is trained to deliver epilepsy awareness presentations. He has been volunteering his time since 2013.
Kenny first considered volunteering because his employer, the University of Manchester, have a volunteering for development scheme. This scheme allows staff to spend one day a month of work time volunteering for a charity. Kenny has epilepsy, and so decided to spend his time volunteering for Epilepsy Action.
Kenny contacted the charity and heard about all of the volunteering roles they had on offer. Being an Accredited Volunteer appealed to Kenny for a unique reason. He was planning his wedding and feeling really nervous about his upcoming speech. He thought that giving epilepsy awareness presentations would give him the experience he needed to boost his confidence.
In 2016, Kenny spent eight days delivering epilepsy awareness presentations to a number of different organisations. He explains: “Putting in an enquiry about volunteering to Epilepsy Action, and attending the Accredited Volunteer training was one thing, getting an email booking in my first presentation felt completely different. It was so nerve wracking. Fortunately, the training and the Epilepsy Action resources meant I was really well prepared.
“I always feel like Epilepsy Action has my back. The staff are really helpful. The training days for volunteers are really great too as they give us a chance to get together and swap experiences.
Kenny’s golden volunteering moment has shown him first-hand how valuable awareness about epilepsy can by, especially among employers and colleagues.
“The best presentation I have ever delivered was to the staff at the Imperial War Museum in Manchester. One of their colleagues has epilepsy and had had a few seizures at work. The rest of the team really wanted to know how to help him. Their care and consideration for a colleague was really inspiring. I could really see how the presentation would help them going forward. They also gave me really positive feedback which was great to hear.”