What’s it like to volunteer for the LA? We ask Ian O’Loughlin, a volunteer visitor at the LA.

“The LA has improved my life in so many ways”

A friendly atmosphere and rewarding work mean Ian O’Loughlin loves his role as a volunteer at the LA.

Ian has over 30 years’ experience working in a number of office-based roles including accounts, finance, customer service, sales and admin. “I started off as an office junior in a service station many years ago,” he says. “Since then I have worked for a manufacturing company, a tyre and exhaust company, a courier company, an oil company and a stationery company.

He joined the LA on 21 September through the Government’s Community Work Placement scheme. “I hadn’t considered volunteering before and I am very grateful for having been given this opportunity,” says Ian. “I feel that fate may have played a part in my being here, not that I have really ever believed in that kind of thing, but it does make you wonder!”

What’s life like as a volunteer at the LA?

“Very interesting! Debbie Bent, CEO is providing great leadership and direction, and there is real hope and optimism for the future.”

Are there any challenges you’ve had to overcome?

“There have been a few changes since I have been with the charity which have been quite challenging and there are still a few things that need ironing out. I’m confident that with the team we now have in place we will overcome these issues.”

Do you feel supported at the LA?

“Yes, very much so. I feel as though I am treated as equally as the other members of the team who work here, and encouraged to reach my potential, thanks to the support of everyone here.”

“I believe that what the LA is doing makes a huge difference to the lives of amputees”

The LA has several areas of service support and activity. What have you enjoyed most so far and why? “I really enjoy working alongside Michael McCann, and assisting in giving essential benefits advice to our clients. I love going out to the centres and meeting the clients face to face with Michael and meeting with the healthcare specialists and hearing from them how our work is much needed and that it makes a very real difference to people’s lives.”

How important is volunteering to you and what difference has it made to your life?

Volunteering has been very important to me and has improved my life in so many ways. I’ve always had a caring nature and working at the LA has really helped me develop that side of my personality.”

What would you like to be doing in five years’ time?

“I would hope to still be at the LA as we are at the early stages of developing crucial services that I feel are very much needed and will have a long-lasting effect for amputees. I hope very much to help it grow as I believe that what we are doing will make a huge difference to their lives.”

Would you recommend volunteering to others and specifically at the LA?

“Absolutely. The LA is a great place and everyone is very friendly and welcoming. Volunteering for the LA has given me a focus and a purpose in life. I would certainly recommend coming to work for the LA as a volunteer because I’m sure it can do the same for other people too.”.

Find out more about becoming a volunteer visitor for the LA here.