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CSASS Volunteer wins University of Chester award

Volunteer and student Beth Skidmore, who aspires to work within survivor support after finishing university, has been given the University of Chester Volunteer Gold Award for her work with the Chester Sexual Abuse Support Service (CSASS).

Beth has been volunteering at CSASS for the past 2 years. Beth was working both on the Support Line and helping with many different events. Beth mentioned how some friends had contacted and were supported by similar amazing services, so she felt very moved to volunteer at CSASS. Beth also spoke about the stigma surrounding sexual assault and because of this, wanted to be able to offer people similar support that her friends received. 

When asking Beth if volunteering at CSASS changed her in any way, Beth replied; “Immensely. I have gained some important employability skills and become more confident, but most importantly I have become a better listener. I am now able to provide better and much more sufficient support to my family and friends.”. 

CSASS provides many opportunities for its volunteers to develop valuable skills for future employment. Beth said that she developed many employability skills, such as communication and problem-solving, and that certain jobs she had applied for, she would not have been qualified for without her experience of volunteering at CSASS. Beth described CSASS as supportive, motivating, and non-judgemental and said the staff go above and beyond to support their volunteers. 

Beth said; “The induction and continual training given at CSASS is comprehensive, so you feel completely comfortable before starting anything”. When taking her first call on the support line, she had a lot of expectations and anxious thoughts about what the call would entail, and whether she was ready to offer this person the support they needed, but with the training that CSASS provided her with, Beth said this prepared her for any situation that arose. 

Lastly, when asking Beth about winning the award for University of Chester’s Volunteer of the Year, Beth said; “The winning felt lovely, it was even just an honour to get shortlisted for the award, let alone winning”. 

If you would like to make a difference supporting survivors of sexual abuse as a volunteer, contact or look at our website,