This week is Volunteers Week when we celebrate the valuable contribution of our volunteers and look to inspire more people to make a difference.  We’re now looking for volunteer JIGSAW Ambassadors to represent our charity and raise awareness of our life changing work in the community.

Lisa is our first, official JIGSAW Ambassador and wants to share her experience of this rewarding role in the hope it will inspire others to join her!

“Hi, I’m Lisa and I am the People and Participation Lead at JIGSAW Thornbury. I first heard about JIGSAW Thornbury from a friend and have been lucky enough to have been working for them for nearly three years. In those 3 years, like a lot of our members, there have been ups and downs in my personal life going through the journey of realising that both of my children are autistic and the challenges that come along with that.  

I decided to become a JIGSAW Ambassador for the simple reason that there are more people out there that need support who would benefit from knowing about what we do.  


The role can involve anything from going to school coffee mornings to attending cheque presentations or bucket shakes. Full training and support from the team is given and the opportunity to do something that is really rewarding by talking about the life changing work that we do.

I have also had previous experience as a support worker for a charity supporting women who have post-natal depression, so have used learning from this in creating the JIGSAW Ambassador role. It’s really important to be in the right place to do this kind of role and this is something only you yourself will know. We can have the best intentions at heart but may find that by thinking we have the exact same situation as someone else and telling them what we think is right, this could end up being painful or discourage that person from sharing again. People’s experiences are like a spectrum too, they may look and feel the same but there are different people and circumstances behind them to our own.  

When attending coffee mornings, the best advice is to listen, people have stories to tell and just need someone to tell them to. It’s amazing how therapeutic this can be when you have felt alone for such a long time and someone is listening to you. It’s ok to not have the answers and the person talking to you knows this too, they are just happy to be in the presence of someone who “gets it”. One of the most rewarding things I have seen is that when someone shares their story, this encourages others in a group to share as well, and then something magical happens, they have found their tribe! Foundations are being built for friendships and support that take a life of their own.”

If you think that becoming a JIGSAW Ambassador is for you, please get in touch with us at